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The Opposite of Envy - Tim Challies

The Reverse of Envy – Tim Challies

A thought struck me the opposite day: So far as I do know, the English language has no phrase that expresses the alternative of envy. There could also be phrases or sentences that may start to convey it, however now we have no single phrase we will use to specific the advantage that lies reverse that ugly vice. We are able to want and pray that we might be much less envious, however as we delay that sin, whats the righteous habits we must be placing on instead?

Envy is an odd sin, in that it’s a private and infrequently very visceral response to the success and failure of different folks. It’s a sin that entails evaluating ourselves to others and forming our id round that comparability. Simply as we might be affected by our personal success and failure, envy impacts us by means of the success and failure of others. Envy is responding to the success of different folks with resentment towards them and despair inside ourselves, longing that their success was our personal. Or, envy is responding to the failure of different folks with pleasure, gleeful that their failure shouldn’t be our personal. At its fullest bloom, envy is not only wanting the success of one other particular person for ourselves, but additionally wanting that particular person to not have it; it’s not simply eager to keep away from private disaster, however wishing disaster upon another person. It’s a sin that mixes jealousy, hatred, and theft into an unpleasant, chaotic complete.

Sir John Gielgud summarized envy effectively in these despairing phrases: When Sir Laurence Olivier performed Hamlet in 1948, and the critics raved, I wept. The success of one other particular person made him really feel small. Had the critics panned Olivier, Gielgud would have felt huge, in order that the failure of one other particular person would have been his triumph. And right here we see one other ugly aspect of envy: It tends to alienate us from people who find themselves very like us, individuals who must be our allies. A musician not often envies an creator and a pastor not often envies a historian. As a substitute, we envy individuals who have comparable pursuits, comparable items, comparable callingsthe very folks with whom we might and may co-labor. However envy drives us aside. It makes potential allies into rivals.

Envy produces no good fruit. It’s a sin that appears to supply happiness through comparability, however it’s a lie. If we lose the comparability, we transfer towards despair and resentment. We hate our neighbor and ultimately hate God for holding again what we think about a vital aspect of happiness. But when we win the comparability, we develop in delight, in our sense that we’re a novel reward to the world. Right here too, we hate our neighbor and ultimately see God as an influence who exists to provide us the success we’re positive we’re entitled to.

So what’s the reverse of envy? I feel the Bible speaks to it when it tells us to rejoice with those that rejoice, weep with those that weep (Romans 12:15). The alternative of envy is discovering pleasure within the success of different folks and feeling sorrow of their failure. The alternative of envy is rejoicing particularly within the success of the people who find themselves closest to us, who acquired accolades we wish for ourselves, who took dwelling awards we imagine we deserved, who garnered reward for accomplishments very like our personal. The alternative of envy is feeling true sorrow on the failures of an individual in the identical area as us or of an individual who could also be thought-about a competitor. Ive heard Sanskrit has a phrasemuditathat refers to a pleasure that’s pure and unadulterated by self-interest and delights within the luck of different folks. That appears to seize it effectively.

We are able to have that pleasure, however provided that we first discover our final pleasure in Christ. And our pleasure in Christ comes by understanding and acknowledging that our deepest id shouldn’t be present in success or failure, however in our union with him. We’ve to know that our standing earlier than God doesn’t rely on our accomplishments. Neither somebody elses success nor our lack of success modifications who we’re in Christ. Neither some elses failures nor our personal has any bearing on who we’re in him. It’s only after we are safe earlier than him that we might be safe earlier than others. It’s only after we are safe in him that weve secured the alternative of envy.

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