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Mary-Louise Parker on Envy

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Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. (1 Corinthians 13:4)

I am going to share of devotional stories from the book, “On Point.” The book shares different celebrities and their discussions on different issues. The first one I’d like to share is from actress, Mary-Louise Parker. Parker has starred in a number of movies and television shows, including Fried Green Tomatoes, The Client, The West Wing, and Weeds. She was tasked with speaking on the topic of “Envy.”

Parker said, “Envy is the demon spawn of self-loathing and comparison. But when you compare yourself to others, you’re never going to win.” She reminds us that there is always someone smarter, prettier, richer, and with more toys. The minute you start down envy’s road, you have already lost. Parker continues, “And the shame in turn feeds the envy, because to admit that you’re envious is to admit to feelings of being lesser.”

Envy is a subtle destroyer of people. It is so easy to do that we often do not even recognize we are doing it. We are called to acknowledge the feeling of envy when we feel it. When we are able to recognize our envy, we are able to honestly evaluate it. Then, we can remember who we are, and our unique place in this world.

Today, don’t bother thinking about what makes you feel “lesser.” Instead, jump right into considering reasons why God created you and for what purpose. When we begin to understand our value and Divine purpose, envy begins to melt away. If that doesn’t relieve the discomfort that comes from envy, then think about ways you can make your life more meaningful. Begin with a commitment to worship and participation in church ministries. This way, you will begin to live a life worthy of your call. When you do that, you are more focused on what is next in your life, and you do not feel the need to compare yourself. Remind yourself that God made you, and to be envious of others denies the blessedness of what God made in you. Remember Mary-Louise Parker’s words, and don’t waste another moment on the misguided feeling of envy.