Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. (1 Corinthians 13:4)
Envy is a hideous emotion that rots a person’s soul. Go back to any high school reunion, and you can see certain individuals who after 10, 20, or even 50 years, still remain trapped in the envy of their past. There is no room for Divine gratitude and thankfulness when one’s focus is bitterly on someone else.
I believe Judas’ motivation was not so much the money, but rather the envy he felt toward Jesus. That is the reason Judas was so frustrated that Jesus wasn’t more of a Zealot. This is also the reason he got so mad when Jesus let Mary rub oil on his feet. Judas was jealous because he wanted that level of admiration instead of Jesus. Look at what Judas’ envy did to him. He ended up destroying his life, and it appears he couldn’t handle the despair and killed himself.
Like Judas, envy can be a destructive force in all of our lives. It was Carlos Ruiz Zafron who said, “Envy is the religion of the mediocre. It comforts them, it soothes their worries, and finally, it rots their souls, allowing them to justify their meanness and their greed until they believe these to be virtues.” Envy is an easy feeling. It takes conscious effort to avoid envy and focus on the gratitude and thankfulness found in our own lives.
Today, think about the ways we let envy seep into our lives and corrode our soul. Spend some time writing down the things for which you are thankful. If a snarky, envious thought creeps in, acknowledge it, and then let it flow out of your mind. Consider how often you think negative thoughts as opposed to thankful reflections. The more you practice casting away the envy and inviting in the thankful, the more joy and happiness will fill your heart. Start today!