Cultivating a Life Without Envy: Day 2

Reading guide banner WEEK 5

     Day 2: The Result of Envy: Part I

Have you ever had a friend or loved one tell you that they struggle with envy? The answer for the majority who are reading this right now would be a big fat no. This is because it’s very difficult for anybody to admit that they have any envy. Similarly, it’s even more difficult to confront somebody who may struggle with envy.

Secular scholar Joseph Epstein has done years of research on the topic of envy. In an essay discussing why we don’t want to confront others who are struggling with envy, Epstein writes, “Most of us could still sleep decently if accused of anger or pride or lust or even greed, but to be accused of envy would be by far the worst. So clearly does such an accusation go directly to character. The other sins, though all have the disapproval of religion, do not so thoroughly, deeply, demean, diminish or disqualify a person. But you see the distinction of envy is its enormous pettiness.” 

In other words, Epstein concludes that we don’t like to confess to struggling with envy because it goes directly against our character. We don’t like to confess to struggling with envy because it makes us look petty.

As you read today, consider this: How could somebody help you root out any envy you may have in order to grow?


     James 3:7-18 

How could somebody help you root out any envy you may have in order to grow in emotional and spiritual health? 

Do you agree with Epstein, that envy is one of the greatest character flaws we can have? That envy makes us look petty? Explain. 

According to James 3:7-18, how does envy lead us to speak about others? 

God is inviting you to root out any and all envy you may be experiencing in your life. Who is somebody you trust who you can talk with about your envy? If possible, schedule a time to talk with them sometime within the next week.


Heavenly Father, thank You for the reminder that how I see others and speak about them really matters, because You have created all people in Your likeness. Continue to provide me with wisdom to see others as You do, and to regularly offer words of encouragement and not condemnation. I pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

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