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Principles of Financial Success- Avoiding envy

Avoid envyAvoiding envy in your life can help you succeed in life. Envy can cause unnecessary stress in your life. So, we shall examine at what envy means in relation to finances. We will 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 and helplessness. Lastly, it can lead to feelings of anger and resentment towards those who you feel have more than you.

How to manage envy?

It is imperative to be aware of envy and its potential effects on your finances. 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.

For example, if you are tempted to take a shortcut to make more money, remember that a life of integrity is more valuable than a life of luxury. 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.

As Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche, once said: “Envy comes from people’s ignorance of, or lack of belief, in their own gifts.”

May I conclude by reminding you that we 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. For more check my Podcast feed.


Elphas Sipho Mdluli- MBA Areas of Expertise Business Leadership – Operations Leadership – Financial Management – Process Optimisation – Decision Making Stakeholder Engagement – Project Delivery – Organisational Strategy – Relationship Management – Negotiation Skills Strategy Development – Change Management – Relationship Building – Team Empowerment – Performance Improvement Critical Thinking – Systems Thinking – Strategic Planning – People Management – Business Administration Executive Summary As a meticulous, driven and people-oriented professional, Elphas is motivated by ensuring the achievement of organisational goals. He is fuelled by improving business performance, whilst his all-embracing skillset has enabled him to successfully execute projects across various platforms. His career has presented the effective delivery of solutions, leveraging expertise in financial, operations, administrative and business processes, as well as the management of integrated transformational projects. Elphas thrives in complex environments where strong leadership is required to drive business performance. As a highly focused and participative leader who believes in effective teamwork, he prides himself on his innate ability to connect with and lead stakeholders across all levels of an organisation. With a dedication to continuous improvement, Elphas has completed a vast range of courses, including currently completing his Doctor of Business Administration, building upon his MBA, Bachelor of Ministry degree and Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting, to mention just a few. Career Summary Elphas has built his career on a strong academic foundation across a diverse range of areas, including accounting, management development, ministry, finance, corporate governance, risk management, behavioural intelligence, leadership and business administration. He is a Business Leader, an Author, a Lecturer and a pillar within his community. His diverse roles have shaped his skillset and his early roles consisted of Chairperson and Senior Pastor for Christian Liberty Centre and Branch Officer for Select Management Services before moving to Sibonelo Savings and Credit Cooperative Society as Accountant, Manager and then General Manager. In 2013 Elphas spearheaded the start-up of Life Solutions Investments, an organisation providing Training & Consultancy as well as leading operations of a Block Yard. He has also been contracted by Calvary College as a part-time Lecturer. In addition, Elphas has written and published numerous books based in business, marriage and spirituality, as well as being Founder and Senior Pastor of the Freedom Centre International Church. As a result of his sharp business acumen, Elphas was offered the role as Executive Manager for Eswatini Association of Savings and Credit Co-operatives (ESASCCO) where he effectively led teams across various departments. He oversaw Administration, Finance, Training, ICT and the Insurance departments. Elphas has consistently excelled in improving performance and has enjoyed many successes throughout his career, which is evident in the success of the organisations in which he is involved. Elphas provides a significant contribution to the long-term sustainable growth through his extensive experience, vast administration knowledge and impeccable business leadership abilities. His implementation skills are forefront in overall strategic development, and his involvement in business ensures ground-breaking improvement in performance. He is a resourceful professional who has a passion for the development of commerce and the progress of human capital within business, ensuring and facilitating significant growth and financial health of an organisation.

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