Rot of Envy

“A healthy heart [is] the life of the flesh, but envy is the rottenness of the bones” (Proverbs 14:30; underlining mine).

Recall the story of the Dog in the Manger:

“A dog lay in a manger, and by his growling and snapping prevented the oxen from eating the hay which had been placed for them. ‘What a selfish Dog!’ said one of them to his companions;  ‘he cannot eat the hay himself, and yet refuses to allow those to eat who can‘” (Aesop’s Fables; underlining mine).

Isaac appears to be showing restraint and overlooking envious transgressions in his dealings with those dogs who were contending with him and his men over wells of water.

“And Isaac sowed in that land. And a hundredfold [was] found in that year, and Jehovah blessed him. And the man grew great, and he went on, going on to be great, until he became exceedingly great. And possessions of flocks and possessions of herds, and many slaves were his. And the Philistines envied him. And all the wells which the slaves of his father dug in the days of his father Abraham, the Philistines had stopped them and filled them with dirt. And Abimelech said to Isaac, Go from us, for you are stronger than we. And Isaac went from there and camped in Gerar Valley, and lived there. And Isaac returned and dug the wells of water which they dug in the days of his father Abraham; and the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham. And he called names to them like the names which his father had called them. And Isaac’s slaves dug in the torrent-bed, and they found there a well of flowing water. And the shepherds of Gerar fought with the shepherds of Isaac, saying, The water [is] ours; and he called the name of the well, Contention, for they had contended with him. And they dug another well, and [they] also fought over it; and he called its name, Opposition. And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not fight over it; and he called its name, Broad Places. And he said, For now Jehovah has broadened for us and we shall be fruitful in the land” (Genesis 26:12-22; underlining mine).

My quoting excerpts on envy from Thomas Adams (below) is not a promotion of him as a true Christian.  As is usual with reading any non-Christian,  true Christians chew the meat and spit the bones:

“The cause of envy is others’ prosperity, or rather an evil eye shot upon it.”

“The envious man would have happily one of his eyes put out, as the covetous should lose both.”

“A physician being asked what was the best help to the perspicuity of the eyes, affirmed, ‘envy’; for that, like a perspective glass, would make good things appear great things.”

“He is even quarrelling with God that his neighbour’s field bears better corn, and thinks himself poor if a near dweller be richer.”

“The envious is a man of the worst diet, and like a strange cook, stews himself; nay, and conceits pleasure in pining, so that his body at last hath just cause to sue his soul on an action of dilapidations. He finds fault with all things that himself hath not done. He wakes whiles his enemy takes rest. …By putting in a superfluous syllable he hath corrupted one of the best words, turning amorem into amarorem, love into bitterness. A philosopher seeing a malicious man dejected, asked him whether some evil had happened to himself, or some good to his neighbour.”