Covetousness, Jealousy, and Envy

I’ve been thinking on this topic a lot lately. I’m realizing that I have problems with this in varying degrees, and it’s something I want to change.

I think we all, at times, look at the things that others have, their lifestyles, and their accomplishments and think, “If only….” For a long time, I haven’t necessarily seen that as wrong. You know, it’s just wishful thinking. Some might even call it hoping. And that’s where the problem is.

Satan, more often than not, corrupts that which is good and pure by introducing slight changes. You see that in the theology surrounding baptism, priesthood, the doctrine of the Godhead, and so on. Coveting is how Satan has corrupted the principle of hope. He has changed hope from the righteous knowledge and action that is based on principles we know to be true to the selfish wishing non-action of jealousy. Where hope inspires us to be greater, do greater, and see greater, jealousy inspires laziness, selfishness, and anger.

No good can come from merely wishing we were different than we now are.

Another thought that came to my last night as I was thinking on this topic is that jealousy is the poison that kills gratitude. When we are feeling jealous or envious, we cannot feel gratitude for the wonderful blessings we have received. We ignore the great things we have done and accomplished. Jealousy drives away the spirit because it turns our focus inward and away from the bounteous joy of life.

Last night, I felt inspired to write down a list of those things for which I’m grateful for–a task I assigned myself to help me look outward and recognize some of those blessings. I was surprised at how easy it was to write. And write. And keep writing. My list quickly expanded beyond my ability to keep organized, coherent, and flowing. As I listed each thing, I expounded on why I was grateful for it and how I’ve been blessed, and I kept coming back again and again to other topics to add things I had forgotten.

I realized just how overflowing my cup of blessings really is. How blessed I really am.

We all struggle in some measure with feeling envious of others. I certainly have, and there are times that I’ve allowed that to get away from me. Like a runaway freight train, those times are when I barrel along with complete disregard for anything but myself. Counting my blessings helps me brake that train, stop and smell the roses so to speak.

And they smell just fine, thank you. Just fine indeed.

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