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Friday, December 14, 2012

Beatles Envy

 Envy defined:
  1. A feeling of grudging admiration and desire to have something that is possessed by another
  2. Spite and resentment at seeing the success of another (personified as one of the deadly sins) –WordWeb Pro
  3. painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same –Merriam-Webster

Envy is something I encountered in spades as a young man in my late teens and early twenties—for this was the heyday of the Beatles. Why couldn't I have all their talent, their fame and fortune, their ability to make girls swoon while performing on the Ed Sullivan Show? Compared to them I thought my existence paltry in the extreme, almost detestable. 

What is the core problem with the sin of envy? It is that we reject ourselves and wish to be the clone of another. In other words we completely discount the unique person that God made us (with our unique talent, abilities and mission) and instead want to be like (perhaps more truthfully—to be) someone else.

Often we hear Christians ask “What would Jesus do?” Perhaps the better question is “What would Jesus have me do?” For it is destructive to desire to be a faded clone of Jesus. Rather, we are to fulfill our mission using our own talents and abilities. Only Christ was given the mission to save the world. We are given the mission to do our part to change a small part of it.

When we look at the progress of life on earth, especially human life, we can see that survival itself depends upon a diversified portfolio of contributors. We should reject envy and rejoice in our unique calling.

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