The Raphael Remedy

Pride and Envy

by | Aug 17, 2023 | Counseling

Our modern world is suffering from the damage caused by the impact of technology (smart phones, digital media, social media platforms, etc.) and our culture of comparison with others. Let’s explore two of the capital sins that exist along the continuum of comparison: pride and envy. Considered capital (deadly) sins, both lead to other sins and vices. I’m often amazed by how our Christian values not only create a roadmap for moral guidance, but for our happiness. In this case, comparing ourselves to others keeps us from happiness, and freeing ourselves can lead to a peaceful mind and heart.

With pride and envy, while very different thought patterns, we’re comparing our worth, our achievements, or possibly our material possessions with others. Sin, defined as something that separates us from God, often includes where we focus our attention. So, when our focus and energy is on comparing ourselves to others, we can’t be focused on God at the same time. Thoughts of pride and envy are also childlike because they’re shortsighted. We’re not seeing the goodness in what God created us to be.

With pride, we’re putting our own needs or value above others, and then taking credit for our superiority. Pride leads to isolation and severed relationships which can impact our happiness. According to Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”

With envy, we’re comparing ourselves negatively with others, so once again, our focus and energy remain in comparison to others instead of recognizing that God created all of us and we’re just as worthy as the next person (imperfections and all). “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” James 3:16.

Pride and envy derive from the foundation in that one human is inherently better than another. And as the world gets smaller through technology, we face more temptation to compare ourselves to others. It’s important to stay grounded in the truth that God created every one of us and that we each have our own path. Individually we are God’s creations and together we are a Body of Christ.

This is all GREAT NEWS! This means that we can free ourselves of comparisons to others. It’s exhausting and it’s also God’s will!

Chris Guzniczak
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