You Might Be Envious If . . .

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Envy is one of the sins we are most likely to hide from ourselves. This is because of the nature of the sin itself—it compares to others, and when you are looking at others it is hard to see yourself—and it is also one of the sins we most despise when we see it in others, which is why we don’t want to admit that we are guilty of something so ugly. Other sins often have virtues tangled up together with them, but envy is pretty close to sin “raw.” And so we lie to ourselves about it.

But if you have taken credit for work that somebody else did, look for envy. If you went from great admiration for someone to something bordering on disgust, and it happened pretty quickly, look for envy. If you have grumbled to God about the gifts someone else has, look for envy. If you are artistic, and have a good imitative eye, look for envy. If you find yourself in inexplicable quarrels, look for envy. If the phrase “not fair” comes to your mind easily, naturally, and often, look for envy. If phrases like the “the principle of the thing” are woven throughout your rationalizations, look for envy. And if you don’t rejoice in the good fortunes of others, or you find it a challenge, look for envy.

Chances are, if you have been hiding it from yourself, it has grown more serious that you might guess. But the good news is that Jesus Christ offers to forgive it all—but remember that the forgiveness of Christ comes by way of crucifixion.

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