Envy is a powerful emotion that can ruin relationships and lead to destructive behavior. It’s an emotion that the Bible has a lot to say about, whether it’s warning us of its dangers or encouraging us to overcome it. To help you better understand how envy works and how we can combat it, here are 10 Bible verses about envy. We’ve also included some frequently asked questions about envy in the Bible to help you understand the scriptures even better.
Scripture about Envy
10 Bible Verses about Envy
Proverbs 14:30 ESV
A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.
Exodus 34:14 ESV
(for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God),
Proverbs 23:17 ESV
Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day.
Galatians 5:19-21 ESV
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 13:4 ESV
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant
James 3:16 ESV
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
Galatians 5:26 ESV
Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
1 Peter 2:1 ESV
So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.
Proverbs 24:1 ESV
Be not envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them,
Titus 3:3 ESV
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.
Scripture about Envy KJV
One of my favorite Bible verses about envy is Proverbs 14:30 (KJV): “A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.” This verse warns us against becoming consumed by envy and reminds us to focus on maintaining a healthy heart instead. The message here is that envy can destroy us if we allow it consume our thoughts, emotions, and lives. By living in obedience to God, we can rise above our own weaknesses and find contentment in Him alone.
FAQ about Envy in the Bible
The consequences of envy can be both dire and severe. Envy can cause us to feel depressed, anxious, or unmotivated in life. It can also lead to isolating ourselves and avoiding healthy relationships due to fear of comparison or competition. Additionally, envy can cause us to become spiteful and do things that are detrimental to our character. In worst cases, it could even lead to physical violence against the object of envy. Therefore, it’s important for us to stay in control of our emotions and be vigilant against this dangerous emotion.
The spiritual root of envy is a lack of trust in God. When we succumb to feelings of envy, it means we have doubts that our needs and desires will be provided for by God. This can cause us to worry about our own lot instead of trusting that God has a plan for us. We must strive to seek contentment in the Lord rather than becoming entrapped in the bonds of envy.
Envy can slowly but surely destroy one’s life by eroding away at the person’s self-esteem and inner peace. It can cause us to become fixated on what others have, resulting in a never-ending cycle of unhappiness and dissatisfaction in life. Additionally, envy can manifest itself as destructive behavior such as gossiping, lying, or even physical violence that harms both the object of envy and our own reputation. All of this can lead to feelings of guilt and shame as well as strained relationships with family and friends. Ultimately, envy destroys our lives by preventing us from leading meaningful, joyous lives.
In the Bible, envy is often caused by a lack of faith that God will provide and take care of us. It is also caused by a focus on material things instead of spiritual blessings. In James 4:2-3, it says ‘You desire something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet what others have and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts.’ This speaks to the corrosive nature of envy when we allow ourselves to become fixated on what others possess. The Bible encourages us instead to live out our lives with contentment, trusting God to be the ultimate source of all our needs.