In that day the Lord will take his terrible, swift sword and punish Leviathan, the swiftly moving serpent, the coiling, writhing serpent. He will kill the dragon of the sea. Isaiah 27:1 (NLT)
How do you feel when your boss praises your co-worker for a job well done? Do you resent it when the baseball coach brags about the pitcher but says nothing about your son’s ability to play the game? Do you inwardly smile when someone fails, and you succeed? Does it “grind your axe” that others are “better off” than you? Would you feel relieved if a colleague didn’t get promoted, even though you like him or her?
The early church fathers listed envy as one of the seven deadly sins. Leviathan, a powerful devil, was believed to be the ruling spirit of envy, the gatekeeper to hell. Leviathan means twisted or coiled as a snake ready to strike. "Phthonos," is the Greek word for envy found in the New Testament. Always ugly, the word denotes "ill-will," or "malice." Envy motivates people to put down and attack others who are prospering in some way. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day crucified him moved by envy. Proverbs ask the question “Who can stand against envy”? People can be envious of a person’s influence, position, material possessions, salary, or simply their success at what they do. When you cannot rejoice over someone’s blessing envy has twisted you.
Envy is a symptom of someone who feels inferior. It causes you to feel “less than” instead of “equal to." Envy camouflages the emotional pain of shame. It's a hidden sin that thrives best in the dark. Kill envy before it kills you. Confess it and bring it to the light every time you move in it. The Holy Spirit will stir a godly sorrow within you leading you to repent. Be grateful every day and articulate for what you are thankful. Embrace your uniqueness and the gifts you have to share. Celebrate yourself so you can celebrate others!