The deadly sin of envy and how to eliminate it from your life

The deadly sin of envy and how to eliminate it from your life

In helpful tips, 7 deadly sins by Ryan Sanders, M. Div. / February 20, 2018

The Bible describes envy as rot in the bones. All sin kills. But, the sin of envy will eat you up from the inside out. Let's look at the deadly sin of envy. In this post, we'll examine what the sin is, how it plays out in your life as a dad and how to eliminate it from your life.



We wrote a full book called 7 Deadly Sins of a Disengaged Dad eBook because there's a lot to cover about each sin. For now, let's talk about envy.


What is envy?

Envy is a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities or luck. Envy is bothered when friends do well and is jealous over others. Worse, envy loves when others fail. In Proverbs 14:30, Solomon says of envy it is, “rottenness to the bones”.


How does envy show up in a dad’s life?

The disengaged dad says: “I deserve what you have.”

Many dads tell us they walk around feeling like a failure. Most aren’t failing as badly as they feel, but often they’re trapped in the comparison game. We feel like failures because we’re comparing ourselves to others. We want what someone else has. What we have (or who we are) isn’t good enough.


The disengaged dad is an envious dad. Envy often plays out in our closest relationships. Sure, we see this in a young child who gets angry about another child playing with a toy he wants. But don't we reveal our hearts as we age? You want your neighbors’ lawn, his car, his home, his job...his wife. The friend on Facebook posts the picture of his new car. You think, huh? How’s he driving that car? He doesn’t deserve that car. You love that car and work hard. You deserve that car more than he does.


Without suspecting a thing, you lead your kids to be ugly when a friend at school makes the team and your child doesn’t. We can teach our kids to be envious of others’ blessings. Or, conversely, with the proper example of leadership, we can use daily opportunities to show how we should find joy in others’ success.

The disengaged dad says: “I deserve what you have.”


How can a dad eliminate the sin of envy?

I believe you can learn to be the leader God wants you to be when it comes to the sin of envy. 


We talk about more in the full eBook, but here are two ways to eliminate the sin of envy. :

1) Repent of envy. The first step to destroy envy is through Jesus. He can free you from envy. You need to confess the sin and ask for forgiveness.

2) Practice gratefulness. Beyond “putting-off” the sin of envy, we must “put-on” gratitude. Meditate on what God has done for you.


Imagine being so grateful that you rejoice for others. Imagine being free to truly care and love others when good happens to them. That’s showing others an example of Christ. This is biblical fatherhood.

As we put off the sin of envy, let’s put on gratitude.


Scripture for eliminating envy

  • Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited. —1 Corinthians 13:4
  • Let us walk with decency, as in the daylight: not in carousing and drunkenness; not in sexual impurity and promiscuity, not in quarreling and jealousy. —Romans 13:13
  • A tranquil heart is life to the body, buy jealousy is rottenness to the bones. —Proverbs 14:30

Prayer for eliminating envy

God, would you forgive me of being envious? Please, help me turn my heart from what friends or neighbors have and be grateful for what I’ve been given. Amen.



All sin kills something. So, recognize the deadly sin of envy. Fight envy in your heart. Fight envy in your home. Be the example that maybe you didn’t have growing up. For the sin of envy, we’ve covered what the sin is, what it looks like and how to eliminate it from your life. 




We dig deeper into the 7 Deadly Sins of a Disengaged Dad in the full eBook. 

Get the full eBook in store here.

For each sin, we help you:

  1. Define the sin.
  2. Recognize how the sin plays out in your life as a dad.
  3. Give strategies for eliminating the sin.
  4. Remember Scriptures to combat the sin. 
  5. Learn a prayer you can memorize if you struggle with the sin.
  6. Ask self-reflection questions as you consider these sins in your life.
  7. Use an engaging infographic as a reference for fighting these sins. 

The deadly sin of envy is there for the taking. But, so is God’s grace. You can be a godly father who leads without regrets.


Question > On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “I want that guy’s brand-new Tesla!” and 10 being, “I’m really glad he got that promotion!” Where would you rank yourself for the sin of envy? If you need to talk,  email me or tweet @ManhoodJourney. 


This post is part of an ongoing series based on the new eBook 7 Deadly Sins of a Disengaged Dad

Post 1 > 7 sins of a disengaged dad
Post 2 > The deadly sin of pride and how to eliminate it from your life

RyanHeadshot150.pngRyan Sanders is the Director of Outreach at Manhood Journey. Ryan is married to Tonia and they have two daughters and one son. He lives in Reston, Virginia and serves at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. as a regional leader. Learn more about Ryan here and find him on Twitter @RyanSanders.


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