We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Envy is diabolical. It is also human, however sinful. I am learning to identify it in myself, and then to address it when I see it. Nobody likes to identify it in themselves. My red flag is when I feel like putting other people down. Sure, other people can be jerks, idiots, mercenary, lazy, and character-flawed in a multitude of ways, but so am I. It's fair that I try to use discernment when assessing others, but that is different.
I used to deny it, or rationalize it. A bit of that came from wanting to boost myself up by mentally putting down others. That is not only sinful, but a complete and futile waste of mental energy. I recommend prayer, with humor, as an approach to malignant envy. My preaching to myself this Lenten season is to confirm that Christ is my rock, not my damn self.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
"Who can know it?" The heart is deep, and, like Ezekiel's vision, presents so many chambers of imagery, one within another, that it requires time to get a considerable acquaintance with it, and we shall never know it thoroughly. It is now more than twenty-eight years since the Lord began to open mine to my own view; and from that time to this almost every day has discovered to me something which, till then, was unobserved; and the farther I go the more I seem convinced that I have entered but a little way. A person that travels in some parts of Derbyshire may easily be satisfied that the country is cavernous; but how long, how deep, how numerous, the caverns may be, which are hidden from us by the surface of the ground, and what is contained in them, are questions which cannot be fully answered. Thus I judge of my heart, that it is very deep and dark and full of envy; but as to particulars, I know not one of a thousand.
(John Newton.) former slave ship captain, and author of "Amazing Grace"
One can be accused of being envious when one expresses annoyance at well-connected idiots getting better jobs than one’s own (smarter) children. Or when beat in a job application by the boss’ best friend’s son. Or when one’s (better) work is shoved aside and that of the trophy bride displayed instead...
Nevertheless, I agree that one should not snap and snarl when someone else surpasses one in talent and produces something better. Saul felt inadequate and afraid of being replaced because of David’s superior martial prowess, at a time when David was still devotedly loyal to him. Being wickedly, cruelly envious had a bad result in Saul’s case (for Saul). Ate him up alive.
But there are times when a person unfairly gains something and one’s natural fury is NOT envy. About all you can do then is resolve to work twice as hard and get gone from that place. It does no good to whine about it, but it’s NOT wicked to be annoyed about it and to vent to family and friends briefly before moving on...I write this as someone who has been wacked by corrupt hiring and promotion practices, but also as someone who managed to find interesting and useful things to do anyway by being in the right place at the right time. Or: in the wings, available to help, when Mr Promoted-Above-Ability buggered up the work so badly that bosses had to call on someone who actually knew what they were doing.
The only solution to envy or righteous indignation at the unfairness of the world imho is to do the best work one can with one’s God given talents, and be satisfied if one has done the work faithfully and well. In a wicked world one may never receive praise or reward from others, but God sees how one has worked. And His opinion is the only one we should be concerned about (easier said than done, as I brood grumpily even now about something I felt more qualified for than the person who got it—of course as a wretched sinner, I over-value my own skills!). But I do believe that if one’s conscience is reasonable, that one has done own’s best, it doesn’t matter if others are more successful or famous.