When envy has you by the throat, what can you do? It might appear to you in virulent forms, or it might seem almost invisible—camouflaged nicely to fit in with what you have come to call the principle of the thing. Envy is one of the hardest sins to admit, and it is one of the most widespread. So if you struggle with it, or you think you might be struggling with it, what do you do?
Standing opposite to the sin of envy is the grace of gratitude. Thanksgiving for all things, and particularly thanksgiving for the gifts that God has given to others, especially the others you are tempted to envy
But it is all very well to say gratitude is opposed to envy. How to feel grateful? Is there a magic switch somewhere? No, no magic switch, but there is a gospel. There is an answer. When Jesus died on the cross, the object of sinful envy and hatred, He was crucified in order to be the very death of envy—and He was.
This is the only salve for this wound. This is the only thing that a sinner can do about the perpetual craving to be somewhere else, to be someone else. When you look to Jesus Christ on the cross, you are someone else—I have been crucified with Christ, Paul says, and I no longer live. If you are going to be someone else, be—by faith—the someone who was flayed for sin. Through your baptism, see that you identity with the one on whom all the vain desires of men were placed, and there slain.