Avoiding envy in your life can help you succeed in life. Envy can cause unnecessary stress in your life. We shall examine at what envy means in relation to finances and further look at how it affects your financial success. Finally, we will look at envy management. Our scriptural reference shall be Ecclesiastes 5:10-11, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. When goods increase, they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes?”
What is envy?
In reference to money, envy is the emotion that arises when one desires to possess the wealth or possessions of another individual. It is often accompanied by a feeling of bitterness and resentment towards the person who is perceived to be more fortunate. Envy can be a powerful emotion that can lead to destructive behavior if not managed properly. For example, research has shown that envy can lead to hostile behavior such as retaliation and aggression towards the person who is envied.
How does envy affect your financial success?
1) Envy can lead to unhealthy financial behaviors such as overspending or taking on too much debt in an effort to keep up with those around you. This can create an unsustainable and unbalanced financial situation that leads to long-term financial damage.
2) Envy can also result in decreased motivation and risk aversion, which can prevent you from taking advantage of opportunities to improve your financial situation. This can lead to a cycle of unending dissatisfaction and further decrease your motivation and drive to make changes.
3) Envy can lead to unhealthy comparisons with others
This can have a negative impact on your self-esteem. It can also cause you to compare yourself to people who are more successful than you, leading to feelings of inadequacy, anger, resentment and helplessness.
How to manage envy?
Taking steps to manage envy can be helpful, such as:
1) Recognizing envy when it is present
You can recognize envy in your life by noticing if you feel resentful or frustrated when someone else experiences success. You may also find yourself comparing yourself to others and feeling inferior. Paying attention to these feelings can help you identify and address feelings of envy. Let your way of life be without the love of money, and be content with such things as you have, for He has said, “Not at all will I leave you, not at all will I forsake you, never!” (Hebrews 13:5).
Envy for more money can often lead to dishonesty and greed, both of which are sinful. We must guard our hearts and minds against the temptation to acquire wealth at the expense of our integrity. Instead, we should focus on being content with our current situation. As the famous American author M.D. Birmingham once wrote: “The love of money is the root of all evil, therefore selfishness must be the seed.”
2) Refocusing on your own goals can help you make more informed financial decisions. Acknowledge your feelings and take steps to eliminate envy from your life. Remind yourself that you are capable of achieving great things and focus on your own goals. Celebrate the successes of others and use them as motivation to reach your own goals. For instance, instead of feeling envious of a friend's new car, remind yourself of your own goal to buy a house, and set a budget and timeline to help you reach that goal.
In conclusion, we have discussed envy in relation to our finances. We started by looking at the meaning of envy. Then we looked at how envy can affect our financial success if not managed. Finally, we considered some steps to manage envy. It is critical, therefore, to guard against envy and focus on your own financial goals.