When I served on staff at Rayne Memorial UMC on St. Charles Avenue, a young man named Arthur began attending. Arthur was a nice guy but was different, both in appearance and in personality. Arthur got involved in the young adult ministry I had started at the church and was accepted for who he was.
It wasn’t long before Arthur became fixated on another guy in the group I’ll call Carl. Carl was a successful young man working in corporate America who was from a well to do family. He was amiable, friendly with everyone, had a heart of gold, was active in the ministry and often hosted events at his apartment in the Garden District. He was a member of a Mardi Gras Krewe, played golf at a local country club, was a member of the Young Republicans, the Young Leadership Council and another society club. Carl also drove a BMW.
Arthur wanted to be like Carl. He asked to join the clubs that Carl was a part of and wanted to be Carl’s best friend. While Carl was gracious to Arthur, they were never going to be best friends. Arthur’s envy turned and one night, Arthur went over the Carl’s apartment, poured gasoline on Carl’s BMW and lit it on fire. He was arrested and served time in jail. This is the power and damage envy can have in our lives.
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