ArticlesBlog

Overcoming Envy and Dealing with Jealousy

Overcoming Envy and Dealing with Jealousy


Hi, my name is Father Mike Schmitz
and this is Ascension Presents. So, I was reading in the Bible the other day, the story of King Saul and then when David comes along, right? And David has been anointed
to be the future king, defeats Goliath, and they go into the city and the women
come out and they praise. They say, “Saul has slain his thousands
and David his tens of thousands.” And then, the line after that says, “From that moment on, envy entered into King Saul’s heart” and this bitterness against David. I’ve been reflecting on envy because I think in some ways we can be like, “Well, you know, envy is not that big of a deal or jealousy.” Some people use those in two different ways. I just want to put them together. There’s a wisdom in separating envy and jealousy,
just to kind of get more precision. I’m (pop chk clap) gonna smash them together and call it env-elousy. Wait that no—I’m just—call it envy or jealousy. What is envy? What’s jealousy? It’s what Saul had for David. It’s sadness at the blessings of another, right? You can say I’m sad because you’re happy. Or on the flip side, it’s
I’m happy because you’re sad. I’m sad because you have a gift that I don’t have.
I’m sad because you have a status that I don’t have. I’m sad that you are someone that I wish I could be. That’s not the same thing as
admiring someone and saying, “Wow, that’s an incredible car that you’re driving.
That’ll be really cool to have that.” Or it’s, “You play the violin so awesomely and you sit in first chair. I would love some day to sit in first chair.” I’m not sad at your blessings.
I’m not sad at your skill. I’m not sad at your excellence. I’m inspired by it.
That’s a whole different thing. But envy, at its heart, is this sadness. We have to realize that this isn’t a silly sin, it really—it actually is silly. It’s a silly sin. Why? Because virtually every other sin
gives us at least some moment of pleasure, it gives us even some fleeting moment of happiness, right? Think of any other sin that you
or I choose to do on a regular basis. We do it because, at least for a moment,
it makes us feel good. Envy is so weird because not even for a
moment does it make us feel good and yet some people can be so consumed by envy that they let that thing drive and guide their entire lives. It’s just remarkable. That’s one of the reasons why I think Dante—I read this a little bit ago—in the Inferno, those who were in Hell for the sin of envy, they had to suffer in this very poetic way he was describing this, they had to suffer in eternity by having their eyelids sewn shut with threads of metal wire. Why? Well, because that’s kind of what the envious person— it’s how they live now, is I don’t see my own blessings. I can’t possibly,
I’m blind to my own blessings and I’m constantly looking
for the blessings of others. and to realize that the heart of this
are two things at least: One is an attitude of scarcity. An attitude that is numbed to the fact that I have an
abundance of blessings in my own life. You have an abundance of blessings
in your own life. That’s why Dante would say their eyelids
are sewn shut because they can’t see
the abundant blessings in their own life. They see scarcity where there’s actually abundance and they’re constantly looking
and comparing themselves to others. One of the remedies for that would be
obviously gratitude. So if you find yourself being an envious person,
I would say take a moment, stop, and actually count your blessings. If King David—King Saul, I mean, would have done that—”What? what? Yeah, my thousands. David, his tens of thousands
but that doesn’t take away from my thousands.” And that’s the second thing. In fact, the Catholic Encyclopedia has a
definition of envy that I think is really, really enlightening. “Envy is sorrow which one entertains
at another’s well-being”—we said that already— “because of a view that one’s own excellence is in consequence, lessened.” Basically, the idea that because you are blessed— because someone else has something, that means that I have to have less. And this is the crazy thing,
that King Saul, he was anointed by God. He was chosen by God. Yes, at this point… he was kind of on his way out
as far as kings are concerned, but he was gonna
live out his kingship until the end of his life, as David even says essentially,
I’m not gonna strike down the Lord’s anointed. And yet Saul couldn’t see the fact that David’s ascendancy,
David’s blessing didn’t take anything away from him. And this is the same thing— the people around you: their gifts, their skills, the degree to which they are loved, doesn’t take anything away from your gifts, your skills, or the degree to which you are loved, so gratitude is one of the remedies for envy but there’s a more profound remedy for envy. And it isn’t about willpower and it’s not about
writing out a list of all the blessings you have. It’s simply about grace. I’m afraid that I’m less because you are more. What do I need to do? I need to go to a place… where I can be reminded of my goodness and you need to go to a place where you can be reminded of your goodness and who can remind you more fully of
your goodness… than the Father? I would say this. More than gratitude, the remedy for envy
is placing yourself under the gaze of the Father. Place yourself
in the presence of God the Father and let him look upon you
and that gaze that raises you up, the gaze that says, “I claim you as my son. I claim you as my daughter.
I give my only begotten son as a ransom for you. That this is what you are worth.” What about other people?
No, no, no, no. This is what you are worth. To find your worth
beneath the gaze of the Father, to be given your identity beneath the gaze of
the Father because that gaze… the eyes of the Father resting upon you is what
frees people from the bondage of envy, is what frees people from this slavery
to competition. When you recognize that the way the Father looks at you is wholly and entirely and infinitely unique because you are unique to him, it frees us from any temptation to jealousy,
any temptation to envy, and any temptation towards
this kind of weird competition. My brothers and sisters,
I just invite you. If the enemy’s been plaguing you, gripping your heart because you’ve seen like, “I don’t have enough. Everyone else has more.
I’m less because they’re better,” not only be grateful for what you do have, but secondly, place yourself beneath the gaze of the Father
and let him remind you not only of who you are but even more importantly,
who you are to him. His son. His daughter. The one he loves. That should be enough to be able to find joy in this world and even joy in the blessings of the people around you. From all of us here at Ascension Presents,
my name’s Father Mike. God bless. Hey! Be sure to like, subscribe and do all those things that people do
on the Internet. See ya!

Comments (100)

  1. One of your best, and your the best a lot of my days! Thanks.

  2. Dear Fr. Mike, I was wondering if you could do a video talking about mourning, and how christian catholics should mourn? My community just lost a really great man, who a lot of people were close to. I've been reflecting on the right ways, and good practices in how to mourn because our culture overlooks death in that way I think.

  3. Im feeling guilty by thinking how handsome he is… shame on me 🙀😣🤦🏻‍♀️

  4. Father Mike please make a video about school shootings! It's horrible..

  5. Father, I've broken my vow i made to God
    I promised him I wouldn't do this for 40 days (fasting) but I failed, i didn't do it on accident, but did it with the thought of "I shouldn't be doing this, stop it" but I can't
    Now im overcome with guilt and hope you can help me with this
    What can I do if I break my vow in fasting

  6. Holly Spirit is with you Fr Micke, this video as all you do is extraordinary, and helped me a lot, thanks a lot God bless you all in Ascencion presents

  7. Just looked this up the other day in the dictionary. Envy it seems is the wanting or coveting of what someone else has. Jealousy is the resentment that they have something you do not. So one can be jealous without envy. You can resent that someone has that something and not really want it.

  8. Hi Father Mike, thank you for your job and effort.

    I follow your from Italy and i would be very happy, if you could talk about "Sexuality and Chastity".

    Thanks again, God bless you.

  9. Thanks Fr. Mike. God bless, Proverbs 31

  10. Thanks for this beautiful reminder, Fr. Mike! The Holy Spirit has been nagging me since yesterday to watch this video, and now I know why! 😇😇😇😍 I needed your inspired encouragement to deal with a situation that doesn’t include envy or jealousy, but is similar. I’m a fan and subscriber! 👍😀

  11. I need so much help in this area as I constantly compare myself with others and feel so far behind my contemporaries. I often feel like a failure. Please pray for me Fr Mike.

  12. Does a priest become Pope? Is there a next in line process between these two?

  13. Thank you. Very useful.

  14. A beautiful reflection, Fr. Mike!!

    One thought…
    The envious in Dante's "Commedia" are in purgatory, not hell. Certainly, envy could have driven men and women to commit sins that placed them in hell, but envy itself (at least for Dante) is not damnable. With this poetic frame of reference in mind, I find it encouraging to remember that envy is a shared human experience — a burden that we ALL must shed in our ascent to holiness — and not an altogether deplorable act that is unique to my brokenness. For me, this proves helpful in moving beyond the shame of the sin, because it allows me to see that my moral character is not necessarily defined by how often I am confronted with envy, but by how long and to what degree I let it weigh me down.

    "While there is jealousy and rivalry among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving in an ordinary human way?" (1 Corinthians 3:3)

  15. What if you are not able to think of blessings that you have?

  16. Keep on believing! (a viewer from Spain)

  17. Thank you so much Father Mike!

  18. I love listening to Father Mike. He is so interesting and I get so much out of his talks. I listen to every word. He is fascinating to watch. He draws you in and you have to listen

  19. Thanks, I'm always thinking of how others are more gifted than I, hopefully now I can grow out of that.

  20. Hi fr i love listening to your teaching. Im in Belfast Ireland.
    You make things easy to understand in every day language.
    I started contemplative mediation a few years ago changed my life could you do a teaching on it please.?

  21. Powerful reminders, Father Mike! Thank you for grounding us in God! Amen!

  22. Thank you father mike you made me feel so much better about myself ❤ this brought me to tears honeslty your a man with joy and faith may god bless you

  23. I didnt realized my sin until watching your video. Thank you for your great remedy Father! I will keep that in mind!

  24. Wow thanks so much Father! Your word about envy and the remedy for it has really changed my outlook. Putting ourselves under the gaze of the father! Love it

  25. Just the thing that I need.. i was all in tears because I’ve been struggling with this for awhile, and didn’t know what to do with it. It made me feel depressed because I hated the feeling of being envious, but yet I felt helpless..
    So thank you so much Father Mike.. Your insights were spot on. I looove your videos. You are so cool! God bless you always! (Hello from Jakarta, Indonesia)

  26. very helpful, thanks

  27. Wow, as always some very profound and thought provoking words.

  28. Thank you for existing. You are God's favorite! and mine 🙂 keep saving souls!

  29. I love your videos. I enjoy putting the earbuds on and just listening. Great topics and great explanations. You do an awesome job of delivering the word of god. God bless

  30. I used to be very jealous of my wife. I came to realize it was very immature, so I made a conscious decision to stop that behaviour. It was a mistake she left me. Somewhere I got confused between jealousy and love.

  31. Thank you Father for this great message.

  32. God Bless you Father Mike

  33. Kind of like how the state of someone else's marriage doesn't take anything away from yours?

    Like marriage equality?

  34. Amen Father Mike!! ❤️🙏

  35. Beautiful stuff! Thank you!

  36. Father Mike, I just about cried when you talked about how envy is believing the lie that "the success of others takes away from my success" because that resonated so deeply with me and how I have been feeling. I am becoming completely freed of envy now and your advice here in this video helped me do that. I am so grateful. Thank you.

  37. We will all have our own blessings! Trust God!

  38. Amen! 🔥🔥🔥

  39. indeed, “what they have don’t take away what I have”, so true.

  40. Place yourself in the gaze of The Father! Amen! I so needed this today.

  41. I really needed to hear this message. Thank you for the tips ❤️

  42. Pray for me my brothers and sisters in Christ.

  43. How to ask Fr Mike question?

  44. Thank you Father. I will practice gratitude, count my blessings and try to be more graceful. Peace.

  45. Thank you Father Mike. God bless you.

  46. I wish there was a love button instead of just a thumbs up! Love this! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your insights!

  47. I have dealt with envy and I think this video hits the mark pretty much on what envy is and more definitely on how to combat it however I do I have trouble knowing how the Father sees me. Thank you father.

  48. Father Mike i am a catholic from Indonesia in my early 20s, and i've been struggling a lot to seek inspiration in finding the truth about God's word. i am totally grateful to the fact that God has led me to find this channel. i have been watching your videos everyday for about 4 days now, and plan on continue to do so. you have truly helped me in learning to love more about catholic, and to commit myself into loving Jesus. Thank you father, i hope someday i can meet you in person .

  49. I should tell my haters to count their blessings, and that God loves them (then again, I also need to learn how to not take for granted my own blessings as well, and be reminded of God's love for me)

  50. Hi Fr and the internet, can I ask you to please pray for me as I'm struggling with envy. I recently finished university and have had no luck so far with job hunting although some friends of mine have recently gotten jobs. It's also a very frustrating time for me. So please pray for me, thank you.

  51. Thank you for the video. These two emotions are very different, necessarily:
    Envy requires 2 parties. Commonly occurs when someone wants what someone else has.
    Jealousy requires 3 parties. Commonly occurs in romantic relationships, but also occurs between like siblings for the parents (3rd parties attention) attention.

    This is a fundamental difference which orients the two toward very different emotions. For example, as it pertains to envy, the practice of counting ones blessings indeed never results in the taking away of those blessings, and can serve as positively orienting oneself in the world.

    However that same practice cannot be applied to jealousy. If you were to count ones singular romantic partner, whom may be happily with another or simply happily no longer in-love with you, will not bring the same solace this practice does with envy.

  52. mike i am your [email protected] brig of TruE

  53. Thank you Fr. Mike for the sharing.

  54. Yeah, I had a lot of envy, when the guy ended up in a wheelchair looo

  55. Thank u Fr.! God Bless u! 🙂

  56. I wish my 2 older sisters can hear this video they have evil jealousy in there blood I had to stay away from as far as I could to my 2 sisters for years. When they hurt me to the bone I stay very calm. Yes, I pray to god to handle my problems and a person hurts me to the bone I become really calm and walk away. God will do the work for me. Im not rich and educated and have 3 homes like them. As long I am healthy and have a roof on top of my head I’m happy. I don’t believe of filing a lawsuit over money on my own blood. I don’t believe of competing with the jones family

  57. Not meaning to be rude but i had hard time understanding u ..at first i thought you spoke anything but english .your speaking fast.

  58. Father Mike, you are awesome! And your videos really help everyday. I talk to God everyday and ask him to lead me, especially in my errors. I asked this morning for guidance on this very subject and lo and behold, I get to work, login, go to Youtube and this video pops up in my suggestions. God is good and I'm so thankful to Him for you. Keep doing what you're doing and God bless!

  59. You are right on, I suffer from envy. It's my number one sin that I struggle with. I know it's completely illogical to feel any type of envy because I have so much. I married the man of my dreams, have two beautiful little girls, we are financially wealthy and travel the world; we travel constantly and get to see God's creation. We are so blessed I don't work because my husband makes more than enough. I have access to the best country clubs, private schools for my girls, and even made friends with a whole group of nuns from the missionaries of charity in a third world country who pray for me and my family. They did my catechism for my church wedding. I learned humility from them and yet, I will still find someone I won't like and feel envious about anything good happening to them. Father Isaac Relays says to set "Lord bless them and change me" but it's not easy. I will continue to fight this vice, it's absolutely horrible. Thank you for your words. Mary God Bless you.

  60. I’ve been struggling with this for a while now, this video brought me to tears, this is a first step to a new me, God bless you father mike

  61. Thank you for clarifying that. My gratitude is 👍 Great.

  62. So I was eating my dinner while watching this and all of the sudden started crying like crazy.

  63. This really helped Father Mike, thanks a lot ❣️

  64. Thank you Father. God bless you. ✝

  65. God bless you Fr. Mike ,for your wonderful preaching

  66. Thank you for the amazing message! Btw your face is greenish… Please pay more attention to your health. God bless you!

  67. What a handsome man!

  68. Gracias por iluminarme con estos consejos! Bendiciones!

  69. The Holy Spirit speaks from your mouth Fr. Mike. Please Holy Father in heaven gives to Your Church more priests like Fr. Mike!!

  70. You guys are older version of us. I guess if you keep researching you will become a shia muslim. I lve your videos. But beleve me most ppl in north america have forgotton god

  71. Like what poor character people have toward the New England Patriots. They are commonly called 'the haters'

  72. I love the fact that the Patriots have a Bible study each week and pray before their games. I myself have even been hated in my own family for being a fan with furious words hurled at me in the past week when they won the SB. I try to be grateful and happy anyway.

  73. Abundance 🙏🏼❤️❤️

  74. I wouldn't say it's sadness invoked by anothers blessings, i'd say it's more fear and a sense of inferiority disguised by resentment, anger and hatred.

  75. I feel like I've needed these words my whole life. Teeearrs. Thank you Fr. Mike, this is amazing. God is so good. Thanks Ascension Presents! God bless the team.

  76. Thank you, this really helped me.

  77. Do not be deceived do not be a Catholic

  78. One of my favorite of your messages! Seeing ourselves as under His gaze can heal so much…thank you for this.

  79. Im not religious but this channel and your teachings are a great help to anyone.

  80. I loved the last sentiment that sitting in the gaze of God's love is the ultimate solution. I needed that.

  81. Did you see Shazam?
    the tragic villian was envious, he even carried around the demons of the 7 deadly sins with him,
    Genius Movie

  82. Great disappointment, deliberate harm/abuse, exhaustion and tragedy in our lives does open the gate to envy/jealousy which might otherwise been balanced/tempered by rational thought and gratitude. Yes, it is sorrow. I never saw it that way. Thank you for your clarity on the subject.

  83. Thank you so much, you are a God send!!

  84. I see envy as a seething anger.

  85. gee thanks father MIke …….

  86. Thank you Father Mike. These are wonderful videos – and much needed. God bless.

  87. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  88. As always, Father Mike thanks for sharing.
    btw perhaps Ben Shapiro may be worthwhile

  89. You display so much joy, it’s contagious!

  90. My best friend has loving parents that support her.. my parents were abusive and abandon me. Its hard to not wish the worst for her. i love her. I envy her blessings. on family trips i feel like the odd one out and when they take pictures together and Im alone in the side it hurts. thats why Iam here. because i want to be happy for her and i want to take away this disgusting jelousy that is eating me up inside. i know i have my own blessings. but it gets hard to see them when others have what you most want

  91. I'm not one to entertain jealousy or envy but when it comes oh how it loves to make itself at home. I try and distract myself with other thoughts on what I'd like to pursue. Anyway bottom line is it ain't easy to deal with but I'll take what Father Mike has said and put it to practice

  92. God bless u so much father

  93. I am so guilty of this. In this my first year of PhD studies, I see everyone adept and smart, and in comparison I feel so behind and incompetent. This fire of impotence burns in my chest unlike any trial I previously had. The rest of my life is just right, yet this trial appears to be specifically aimed towards my body, mind and soul.

Comment here