Feeding the envy beast

We’ve been thinking about invisible robbers who steal your contentment. Yesterday, I highlighted some studies about social media use and how it can bring down your mood. Unfortunately, by constantly seeing what people post, we can fall into a trap of perpetual comparison and envy.

As a result, it can drag us down.

Because of that, I suggested that if you’re being robbed of contentment, you may need to limit your exposure to environments that thrive on comparison.

Today, let’s look at the other side of the coin.

In Luke 6:31 Jesus says, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” If we follow that logic, wouldn’t we want to make others feel good instead of bad?

That’s why I don’t think we should feed the envy beast. When we go online, it can be tempting to just post or say things that make others envious. After all, if that’s what we continually see, maybe we start to think that’s how the game is supposed to be played!

As a result, we limit our posts to subtle brags, and an always-cheery presence which we (sub?)consciously hope will make others admire our lives (and feel  bad about theirs).

Don’t think that I don’t like sharing the odd accomplishment or mountain-top moment. But it’s really about the motives of the heart. Is what we say and do online done from a place of honesty and grace, or are we just feeding the envy beast because we want to prop ourselves up on the jealousy of others?

Don’t feed the envy beast. It just makes him bigger, hungrier, and harder to get away from!

Be aware. Be loving. Check your motives. “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

By Matthew Ruttan

You can now WATCH me deliver the sermon that today’s “Up!” is based on here. It’s called “The thief of comparison and criticism” and is Part 2 in the “Contentment” series. Enjoy! [The audio-only download is here.]
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.


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