Core Sins: ENVY Word Study and Notes (part 2)

(This is a little chart I made myself after interpreting the way in which the sins relate from one to another, based on the Enneagram, as mentioned in my last post, click to read and or to see the colored enneagram chart I drew)

Envy defined by Merriam-Webster:

noun. a painful awareness of another’s possessions or advantages and a desire to have them too

verb. to have a resentful awareness of and desire for (another’s possessions or advantages) or to feel resentment toward (someone) over possessions or advantages

The dictionary in my mac, New Oxford American Dictionary defines it this way:

noun. a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck

That word discontent strikes me more than the other definitions.

While envy is a new word to my self-awareness and understanding, I can assure you that I have struggled with discontent and discontentedness my entire life – from high school to the present.

Some lovely synonyms to this ugly word:

  • discontent
  • jealousy
  • covetousness, to covet
  • resentment
  • bitterness


Now that we have a grasp of what this word actually means and looks like…Let’s jump into a concordance and see how many times we can find this and it’s synonyms in the Bible..

I can tell you right now it’s in the ten commandments. Dangit! So much for trying to be perfect…

WORD STUDY: Envy and some of the synonyms listed above (using the ESV)

  • ENVY/ENVIOUS – found 16 times as Envy, and 5 references to Envious. Here’s an example:
    A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot. (Proverbs 14:30 ESV) mmm. pretty.
  • DISCONTENT – didn’t get any results, but I found 10 verses about being CONTENT
    Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. (Philippians 4:11 ESV) (Oh, how I envy Paul…I think I’m getting snarky…sorry..)
  • JEALOUS/JEALOUSY – 28 references (gets a little confusing since God is a jealous God…but probably half of those refer to the sin of Jealousy, rather than his righteous jealousy…) and 38 references for Jealousy. Yikes.
    For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge. (Proverbs 6:34 ESV)
    But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. (James 3:14-16 ESV)
  • COVET – 8 times, once as COVETOUS, and 2 times as COVETED, and once as COVETING“‘And you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. And you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, or his male servant, or his female servant, his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.’ (Deuteronomy 5:21 ESV)

A Bible story that my mentor shared with me was very helpful for me, to put perspective to this, especially when I have thoughts like:

  • When will I get my turn, in life, relationship, or career?
  • What about me?
  • I want what they have.
  • I wish I had ____.

It sure sounds alot like the words Miriam uttered about Moses: And they said, “Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?” And the LORD heard it. (Numbers 12:2 ESV) Then the Lord was angry and spoke to all three, Moses, Miriam and Aaron, and Miriam was leprous, then Moses prayed for healing and So Miriam was shut outside the camp seven days… (Numbers 12a:15 ESV) and then that was the end of that. Check out the whole passage, it’s really fascinating and really puts it all into perspective.

Next and lastly I will show you some connections I made, from the two charts I drew last night.

Read all 3 posts in the series:
1: Core Sins: Envy & the Enneagram
2: Defining Envy – Word study and Scriptures
3: Connections – from one sin to another


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