ENVY : How deadly is it?


(As published in Artimag, the official magazine of The Philippine Artisan - Taguig)

Envy: The sixth mortal sin

Envy is the sixth of the Seven Deadly sins. And when we talk about Deadly sins, these are sins with high severity; sins that when once committed will put you to eternal damnation. The list never occurred in the bible for it was first identified by St. John Cassian (360 - 435) and later on was refined by Pope St. Gregory the Great (540 - 604). Until now, the impact of this list is still evident notwithstanding changes brought by modern times.

Why Envy is a mortal sin?

According to Wikipedia, envy or also called as invidiousness, is best defined as an emotion that occurs when a person lacks another's (perceived) superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it. But the question here is why does the church see this state of being as a sinful deed?
The bible answers the question as to why envy is perceived as a mortal sin. What motivated Cain to murder his brother Abel was envy. God looked with favour on Abel and his offerings but not on Cain’s offering.  (Genesis 4:4-5) With this, Cain decided to kill his brother. 

Another passage attests the fact of envy becoming one of the seven deadly sins. Exodus 20:17 states: "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

In essence, envy contradicts with the principle of love, which is one of the Ten Commandments. When you’re envy you fail to see the good in others. You become selfish and become shrouded with the whole idea preventing you from obeying Jesus’ commandment of loving one another (John 15:12). How can you love someone you envy when there is a feeling of resentment in your heart? How will you show genuine love when envy is preventing you? These points give envy a spot on the seven deadly sins.

ENVY: As deadly as it gets

We can depict that as a mortal sin, we need to prevent ourselves from committing envious acts. We also need to consider the other six mortal sins, and make God the center of our lives. 

Envy is as deadly as it can be. Every day we are faced with the possibilities of committing sins, especially the deadly ones. The challenge for us is to discern that what God gives us is enough and appropriate. We just have to make the best out of it. If you were to have that kind of life, family, achievements, house and gadgets then you will have all of those eventually. Challenge your faith and couple it with the right action. With that kind of mindset, you’ll never have a difficult time battling issues regarding envy and jealousy.

The real DEATH…

In Romans 6:23 it reads: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  This verse reminds us that every sin we commit has its own consequences. And the sum of all of these is “Death”. It’s not the physical death everyone is terrified of. It’s a more terrifying one, a dead relationship with God. 

Remember this: A miserable man is not a man deprived of all material things but a man without God in his life.

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