Subject: FaithWriters Devotional - Jealousy and Envy – Toni M. Babcock

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Today's Devotional
Jealousy and Envy – Toni M. Babcock

They are not exactly the same – these selfish twins, but each has an ill effect on anyone who entertains them. To the extreme, when preoccupied with jealousy I become greedy, selfish, and uncaring — jealous over all my earned or unearned advantage. I turn a deaf ear to the needs of the poor and a blind eye to the fate of the disadvantaged. While beggars sit outside my gate, I count my pennies and stack my silver dollars. Too much will never be enough. I will always want more and more, and will tighten my grip around what I’ve got before it gets away.

On the other hand, if I become preoccupied with envy, I’ll possess a different kind of selfish. To the extreme, I won’t find the drive to strive for excellence. Instead I’ll look for reasons why I feel bogged down and cheated by forces outside myself. I’ll look for scapegoats to blame my lack of achievement on, instead of looking for positive ways to improve my lot. I won’t be happy when I hear about good things happening to people who achieve, but I might feel delighted when bad things happen to them. Instead of emulating what is admirable, I will let resentment steal my happiness and make me bitter, cynical, and angry. As a person envious of advantage, I will feel totally justified in feeling this way.

The forces of jealousy and envy often collide in societies, but jealousy and envy never look inward or examine the risks they take to achieve their ends. They are always right in their own mind and masters at pointing the finger.

If we hand the reins of power over to the twins of Jealousy and Envy, they may eventually run us over a cliff. As Christians, let’s show the world how to live in peace instead, following God’s command to “do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly” with Him. (Micah 6:8 KJV)

*Abridged and adapted from a recent article by Toni Babcock, author of The Stone Writer and Reflections from the Heart. Contact


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