I believe my church will soon be doing a series on the Seven Deadly Sins. I am not sure if it will be the traditional list Lust, gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, and Pride or the recent updates: ruining the environment, carrying out morally debatable scientific experiments, or allowing genetic manipulations which alter DNA or compromise embryos, taking or dealing in drugs, and social injustice which caused poverty or “the excessive accumulation of wealth by a few”. abortion and paedophilia.

In the midst of this I am reading Boundaries with Kids which talks about dealing with envy in kids and moulding them to become thankful rather than envious.  I happened to like this chapter as I am not sure I dealt well with this when I was younger.

I seem to remember one idea presented was that you can be envious of someone else’s marriage, job or position and thus when yours does not match up you look for something else.  I think I had always thought of envy as the wanting and not the action that comes as a result of the wanting.

So if envy does make us want what we do not have how do we combat it?  While the Boundaries authors (Cloud and Townsend) go to thankfulness in kids I wonder if that is enough for adults.

I would immediately say there needs to be perspective, see what you do have.  Except this implies that those with truly little are allowed to be envious which I know is an incorrect statement.

The answer seems to me to be more biblical.  Realise you came into this world with nothing and that everything you have, including the breath you breathe right now, is a gift from God.  It is not perspective but an absolute truth that we are dependent creatures from the beginning of our days to the end of them.  We are dependent on mothers, others, and God the Father for everything that we could be envious of and what we have truly is a gift.

So what have you been envious of that you need to let and go and be thankful to God for?

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