What is Envy or Jealousy?


  1. Heartbreak caused by the happiness or prosperity of others.
  2. Unstoppable desire to own or enjoy what belongs to others.

What does psychology say about Envy?

So, psychology defines envy as: "The displacement of energy from the potential of a certain individual to the exacerbated concern for the satisfaction and pleasure of another person, usually intimate with the subject in question".

Schadenfreude is a German term, without translation, which is used to define the feeling of joy or satisfaction in the face of the harm or misfortune of the other. The term is the result of the combination of two German words: Schaden (damage or loss) and Freude (joy or pleasure).

We can say that envy and schadenfreude are similar and are linked to emotional states. These emotions are common to antisocial behavior, and are often overlooked.

Both emotions tend to work together during childhood and adolescence. It is up to parents to show what is right and what is wrong.

What does the Bible say about Envy?

A tranquil mind gives life to the flesh,
but passion makes the bones rot..
Proverbs 14:30

For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice, James 3:16.

So put away all malice and all guile and insincerity and envy and all slander, 1 Peter 2:1.

Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another, Galatians 5:26.

Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.s semelhantes. Eu os advirto, como antes já os adverti: Aqueles que praticam essas coisas não herdarão o Reino de Deus. Galatians 5:19-21

What to do with envious people?

It is important that you continue with the good relationship you have with colleagues, even with envious ones. Being kind and helpful will be qualities allied to possible gossip and malicious comments that may arise from individuals who are jealous of what you do and the professional you are.

Be more discreet
Avoid talking about your personal life when the envious colleague is around. Also avoid talking about your professional achievements near him, as this will save you from any wear and tear with this person.

Avoid, get awaye
And if even after putting all these tips into practice, making yourself available to help you in your process of continuous changes and improvements, your colleague remains the same, I believe it is important that you take a step back, even to self-preserve.

I am not saying to ignore it completely, since it is necessary for you to maintain the professional relationship in the work environment. What I mean is that you stick to only what is strictly necessary when you have to keep in touch with the envious person. This will preserve it without disrespecting anyone.

What does envy do?

Envy consumes people and makes relationships impossible. William Hendriksen is right to say that envy is one of the most destructive vices of the soul. Solomon defined the danger of envy very well and what it does: "A tranquil mind gives life to the flesh, but passion makes the bones rot"(Proverbs 14:30). Still in the book of Proverbs we read about the devastating power of envy: "Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming; but who can stand before jealousy" (Proverbs 27:4).

What can happen to an envious person?

Envious jealousy is bad for human beings. Not only physical health, it compromises spiritual and psychological health and can lead people to take horrible actions. The sage says that it rots bones (Proverbs 14:30), its figure of speech shows that envy weakens the structure of being, making it vulnerable.

This vulnerability can manifest itself in countless ways, but the main one is unhappiness. The envious person is not happy.

How to overcome envy?

How can we beat it? We have to start by recognizing. It is natural for us to insist that we are not envious. But if our heart's desire is really to be free from all sin, then we need to humble ourselves and acknowledge the truth.

It starts with a thought. "That's not fair." "Who do they think they are?" "Why do not I get recognition? Why are they always the ones who are blessed?" Simple things like that that cause our soul, also know how our feelings and reasoning ”overreact. Our ego is concerned. We can find him at work, at school, in our marriage and family and with our service to God.

Paul testified that "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20. By faith, we can also consider ourselves - our feelings, thoughts, opinions, ego etc. - crucified with Christ. So we are alive for God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:7-11) When we live according to that faith, we can overcome the temptations to be envious and grow in contentment and gratitude. When we are tempted, we can pray for strength to remain there on the cross with Christ, and remember that it is He who lives in me now and I can react according to his virtues, regardless of what I feel. So all “confusion and all bad things” are not born out of my actions. Instead, I am living according to the Spirit setting my minds on the things of the Spirit (Romans 8:6).

God bless you!