Jealousy and Envy

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Goliath was dead. You would think that King Saul would be overjoyed that David, one of his own, had slain the Philistine. And he was…for a short time. More in a moment. In our Gospel reading from Mark 3, Jesus has more run-ins with unclean spirits. Each time He cast them out, he warns them not to make him known to anyone.

I’m pretty sure that being a king would probably put just about anyone on a fairly large ego trip. I’ve never been one, but I’m guessing that it comes with the territory. Such was the case for Saul. He was the man. But now there was a new kid in town. Literally. Young David had just slain Goliath. He was already becoming a hero in the eyes of the people. Read today’s reading to see what they were saying about him. This made Saul jealous. Someone was getting more props than him. Saul wanted to kill David.

Jealousy can be a very nasty thing. The biggest problem is that it can lead to the deadly sin of envy. In my book A Minute in the Church: Back to the Basics, I have a chapter about Envy and how it is different from jealousy. "Jealousy, while not good, can incite one to positive action." This was not the case with Saul. His jealousy led him into envy. He wanted to destroy David. The reason that jealousy is so bad is that it is all focused on the self. When someone else gets lauds, kudos, attention, love, we get all bent out of shape. It takes away from us, or so we think. It takes a lot from a person to be truly happy for another; even what that attention seems to be drawn away from us. But that is what true love is. Are there places or relationships in your life where jealousy is a problem? Take it to God today.

Father, forgive us for those times when we let jealousy get the best of us. Teach us to be truly happy for the successes of others. Amen.

Today’s Readings

Read more about Envy, the Seven Deadly Sins, the Ten Commandments, the Sacraments and more in A Minute in the Church: Back to the Basics. Order today at


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