One of the surest ways to loneliness in life is to compare yourself with others. You observe the house, you observe the car. Where does the person work? You observe the friends that they hang out with. Then you look at the talent. In other words, a person counts the blessing of other people.
When this happens, eventually loneliness sinks in. “Why does this person have this and I don’t? After the loneliness comes the discontentment with one’s own life. Then envy follows. Afterwards, the desire to put down the person in words and in deeds.
In the Gospel, Jesus was a victim of the envy of other people. People were following him. His enemies were envious because he taught with authority. Eventually, they feared that Jesus would replace them. Because of envy, Jesus was nailed to the cross.
If we fear that envy is coming into our lives, three things we remember:
- Proverbs 14:30: Peace of mind makes the body healthy, but envy is like a cancer. Envy makes our life miserable. We count other people’s blessings and forget to be grateful for our very own blessings. When envy sinks in notice our words and actions simply to put down other people.
- To each his own. God has a plan for each person. God blesses each person according to the plan. There is no reason to count other people’s blessings because that is God’s blessing.
- One cannot find happiness from other people’s misfortune. There was a social experiment made, people were given two options: A person would be given $100 and 5 of his friends would be given $200 or a person would be given just $50 dollars and 5 of his friends would be given $25. The winning answer was the second option.
“Love of God and love of neighbor,” are words we remember from Christ as to what is the most important commandment. Hence we pray that we may rejoice with other people’s good fortune and we may empathize with other people’s difficulty.