The problem of envy is as old as the human family. Envy (a displeasure caused by the perception of another’s greater degree of success) is one of major sources of family conflicts and homicide. Studies show tha we are likely to be murdered by someone we know (acquaintance, family member, romantic partner, neighbor or work colleague ) than by a total stranger.
Infact the first murder ever recorded in the Bible was fueled by envy. Cain killed his only brother Abel because he did not like the idea of Abel’s offering to be better and more acceptable before God than his own. [Gen 4:3-9].
Selfish competition is the root of envy. Envy says, “unless I’m more – more prosperous, more beautiful, more talented, more intelligent, more famous – than you I’m not happy”.
If selfish competition is the mother of envy then scarcity mentality is the mother of selfish competition. Envious people believe resources to make us happy and fulfilled are not enough to go round. We compete because we think for one to have more others must have less.
Save sports and other competitions that lead to profitable outcomes all other competitions are unheathy and unneccessary.
After a curious study of the Cain / Abel story I, for one, have arrived at the following lessons;
Wheather we accept it or not we’re inherently connected. You are part of me and I’m part of you. My personal wellbeing is tied to your welbeing. I am because you are, you are because I am.
We are supposed to be neither selfless nor selfish. We’re supposed to be we-ish. We must value we-ness more than we value either of us because none of us is greater than all of us. Since I’m part of us I can’t be more than us.
We all have equal value before our Father. God loves us equally and unconditionally. He doesn’t need to hate you to love me. Equal doesn’t always mean similar. We’re distinctivelly different in order to perfect us. Our differences are what make us need eachother.
God our wealthy father has more than enough for all of us, we all have equal access to our inheritance. There is no need for competition.
My brother / sister, I’m here to complete you, not to compete with you. You don’t need to die in order for me to live. In fact, I live by giving life to you. You must not be poor for me to be rich, I become rich by enriching you. You do not need to be miserable for me to be happy, my happiness is in making you happy.
You don’t need to be lost for me to be found. As long as you’re still missing our Father is hurting. I don’t need to pull you down for me to raise. You don’t need to be the worst for me to be the best. We raise and fall as one. Unless we all win we’re all losers.
I can’t sincerely help you without helping myself. I can’t really hurt you without hurting myself. I’ll use my remaining strength to lift you. I have unquenchable obsession to eleviate your suffering because your suffering is my suffering too. I’m doing this with great sensitivity because I, too, am broken.