Lenten Journal – Day 17: Jealousy and Envy

Genesis 37:4 “But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him.”

 

Jealousy and envy – those two feelings that pushed Judah and his brothers to plot against Joseph’s life; the very same things that drove the tenants to kill the owner’s son. (Today’s readings). Jealous of the father’s love; jealous that Joseph receives more favor than them; and the tenants are envious of what the owner has; they thought that they deserve to have what the owner has.

This Lent, God is calling us to go deeper into ourselves, to search inside if there are traces of jealousy and envy hidden within. Jealous of our neighbors wealth, status, accomplishments? Envious of what they have which we do not have ourselves? Jealous that someone else might have caught the attention of our beloved? that someone gets more affection than us? Envious that others are happier? better? The list can go on. It is so easy to fall into the trap of envy and jealousy, on this time and age of social media. We can easily compare ourselves with others, through Facebook or Instagram pictures, thinking that they have more than we have; their relationships are far better than ours. Maybe they are, maybe they have more than us, and that is the truth. And so what? what of it?

Envy is one of the seven capital sins; along with jealousy. It can drive a person into depression and despair; in gossiping and slander or badmouthing; and in worst scenario, leading someone to kill another person.

Kindness and love are the virtues that counter these sins of envy and jealousy. Loving by understanding, accepting and wanting the best for others. Kindness by being compassionate and thinking good about the others.

May this journey I have taken this season of Lent, helps me to be more kind and loving towards others. So, help me, God!

 

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