The godly Scottish preacher Andrew Bonar penned a diary entry. He wrote, "This day
20 years ago I preached for the first time as an ordained minister. It is amazing that the
Lord has spared me and used me at all. I have no reason to wonder that He used others far
more than He does me. Yet envy is my hurt, and today I have been seeking grace to rejoice
exceedingly over the usefulness of others, even where it cast me into the shade. Lord,
take away this envy from me!"
F.B. Meyer held meetings in Northfield, Mass., and large crowds thronged to hear him.
Then the great British Bible teacher G. Campbell Morgan came to Northfield and people were
soon flocking to hear his brilliant expositions of scripture. Meyer confessed at first he
was envious. He said, "The only way I can conquer my feelings is to pray for Morgan
daily, which I do."
Dwight L. Moody once told the fable of an eagle who was envious of another that could
fly better than he could. One day the bird saw a sportsman with a bow and arrow and said
to him, "I wish you would bring down that eagle up there." The man said he would
if he had some feathers for his arrow. So the jealous eagle pulled one out of his wing.
The arrow was shot, but it didn't quite reach the rival bird because he was flying too
high. The first eagle pulled out another feather, then another--until he had lost so many
that he himself couldn't fly. The archer took advantage of the situation, turned around,
and killed the helpless bird. Moody made this application: if you are envious of others,
the one you will hurt the most by your actions will be yourself.
Statistics and Stuff
There is a distinction between jealousy and envy. To envy is to want something which
belongs to another person. "You shall not covet your neighbor's house, his wife or
his servant, his ox or donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor." In
contrast, jealousy is the fear that something which we possess will be taken away by
another person. Although jealousy can apply to our jobs, our possessions, or our
reputations, the word more often refers to anxiety which comes when we are afraid that the
affections of a loved one might be lost to a rival. We fear that our mates, or perhaps our
children, will be lured away by some other person who, when compared to us, seems to be
more attractive, capable and successful.
Dr. Gary Collins, in Homemade, July, 1985.