Put away all covetousness and seek contentment; for the covetous hath ever been deprived, and the contented hath ever been loved and praised. (Bahá’u’lláh, Hidden Words, Persian 50)
Wow, envy is such a test for me! I often fall into “compare and despair” where I compare myself to others and want what they have. It might be something material (a better house, car, job, vacation), or physical (longer legs, shorter nose) or relational (an ideal spouse, perfect kids, lots of family and friends) or something intangible (more confidence, better social skills). When I’m focused on what I don’t have or get caught up in “keeping up with the Jones’s” or wanting a better social status, it’s hard to be happy or reliant on God. Envy lowers my self-worth and self-esteem and deprives me of the opportunity to see and be grateful for what I do have.
The antidote to envy is to accept who we are, count our blessings, ask God to provide us with what we need, rejoice in the good fortune of others and believe in God’s perfect justice. Also, we can use envy wisely if it makes us aspire to be a better person and work hard to succeed in our endeavors.
Remembering that letting go of envy and embracing contentment will enable me to be loved and praised by God, I am grateful!
What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation? I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!
If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Making Friends with Sin and Temptation