"Not all envy is tainted with selfishness, because it is not always either a grudging discontent or a sinful covetousness. At base, envy is the desire to have for oneself something possessed by another. And whether envy is good or evil depends on the nature of the something desired and on whether one has the right to its possession.
If that something we desire is in itself evil, or if it belongs to somebody else and we have no right to it, then the envy is sinful. But if the something desired is in itself good, a blessing from God, which He means to have all people enjoy, then to 'covet' it and envy those who have it is not at all unworthy."
(Source: John Stott's Commentary on Romans, p. 297.)
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Gerald Cornelius on Dec 15, 2000
The animal kingdom is fascinating to observe. There is fierce competition that exists within various species. For example, the wild Dogs of Africa are competitive for their mates. In a documentary one pack of dogs revealed this struggle for dominance. The male dog had two ...read more
Contributed by Rob Morton on Jun 5, 2001
A woman from Kentucky tells this story. After directory assistance gave me my boyfriend’s new telephone number, I dialed him and got a woman. "Is Mike there?" I asked. "He’s in the shower," she responded. "Please tell him his girlfriend phoned," I said and hung ...read more
Contributed by Darren Ethier on Jul 11, 2001
Dwight L. Moody once told the fable of an eagle who was envious of another that could fly better than he could. One day the bird saw a sportsman with a bow and arrow and said to him, "I wish you would bring down that eagle up there." The man said he would if he had some feathers for his arrow. So ...read more
Contributed by Rita Sims on Aug 5, 2001
Those of us who have e-mail usually get little stories or sayings from our friends. Sometimes I really read them, other times I don’t. The other day one of my high school friends sent me one I want to share with you. We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, ...read more