« Love is Kind | Main | Apple Picking »

September 14, 2006

Comments

A

Just some good quotations that I found:

“In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy”
- Ivan Illich

“Love looks through a telescope; envy, through a microscope.”
- Josh Billings

“A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones (Proverbs 14:30).”

I also have Oz Guiness's book at home which deals with the 7 deadly sins in a very reader-friendly way. It is full of great quotations, so maybe I'll add some more later. (clearly I have no independent thoughts of my own)

A

Just a quick thought. You (Bill) mentioned that you had observed in American culture this attitude that we love to hate certain people. Do you think that this is something that is more prevalent in our (american) society than in others. One of the reasons why I included the quote from Illich above is because I think there is some truth to the idea that envy flourishes in a consumer-society (such as America). Obviously, envy is not a modern trend by any means. Presumably, the notion of "envy" emerged on this planet around the same time that humans did (coincidence? I don't think so). But I wonder if our consumer-oriented society is raising our propensity to envy others to an all-time high.

deborah

OH man! I have to go and delete that rant I posted today about Paris Hilton! Actually, the irony is that I posted a link to an article about someone who Hilton bashed - and it is a man.

Lauraconk

I'm rollin on the floor now!
That's so funny...I would never consider most women JEALOUS of women like Paris or Brittney. I think we mostly bash them because they embarrass us to death.
But we should not bash... women do tend to be catty ole souls... pray for us!

A

That actually raises another important distinction that Guiness brings up in his book: the distinction between envy and jealosy. Jealosy is the attitude whereby we desire to have the things that other people have. Envy, by contrast, is the attitude whereby we think other people do not deserve something, or we desire them not to have the thing that we don't have. So, going back to Bill's example, it's one thing to say that most women aren't JEALOUS of Paris or Britney (although I would also disagree with this). BUT the real question is: are they ENVIOUS of them? (bear in mind that I'm just using Bill's example and I'm not implying that men are any less susceptible to these attitudes)

Lauraconk

Are you suggesting they have something that I don't have, A??? :)
I think that women who become grounded in who they are in Christ feel like they've got something much more than airbrushed looks and fortunes.
Brittney and Paris are both rather empty people, sadly. They seek love, acceptance, popularity, whatever by exploiting themselves. I SERIOUSLY don't look up to people like that. Maybe as a less secure, younger woman I would have (not those two particular women...but others who have more going on) but now???
Now if there are people I am jealous of... it would be people who know the Bible better, people who seem to be better at raising their kids, etc. I don't deny jealousies, though I try to put things into perspective and let Jesus remind me He's writing MY story for ME... not someone else's.

deborah

So is it envy when you are annoyed that you have to know that they person exists? I mean, it doesn't bother me that Paris Hilton has things I might not but the fact that the MSM thinks she is someone I have to know everything about is irritating.

Bill

What's the MSM?

deborah

mainstream media

ken

I don't think that is envious (especially with regards to the examples we are using). I don't want what they have, and I don't deny them having it. I just get tired of having to see and hear about them. They are such a bad example to others and the press coverage just feeds their misbehaviour. It is actually quite sad. Sooner or later the looks are going to fail them and money doesn't really make a good companion so what will they have in the end?

Bill

Maybe (maybe) Paris Hilton was a bad example. My point is that some of us tend to enjoy taking potshots at people we see on TV. It's not a very loving attitude. Even people who we think "bring it on themselves" deserve our love.

A

I still think that many of us have envious feelings toward others (not JEALOUS, but envious). Maybe it comes in the form of us thinking that some particular person doesn't deserve the things that they have (and then we tell ourselves that it has nothing to do with the fact that we don't have it ourselves). But regardless, I had asked Bill whether he thought
"indifference" is any better than envy.
Example: Many people respond to accusations of envy by saying things like "I don't envy that person. I don't care about them at all. I am completely indifferent to what they have or do." But is this attitude any better? Is this something that Christians should aspire to: indifference? Or (to use Bill's example) is it more Christ-like for us to truly be happy for someone like Paris Hilton and the success that they have achieved. Don't confuse this with condoning their lifestyle. I'm really just asking whether indifference can be any sort of a defense to envy, or whether it's just as bad in God's eyes.

Lauraconk

I guess I'm confused about the "success" part. She has money...could be gone tomorrow. She has looks (?)... could be gone tomorrow. What else, fame? Not always to her benefit, that's for certain... and again, she could be a "nobody" tomorrow.

She has nothing of real substance. I don't know that I feel "indifferent" towards her.. I think I feel truly sorry for her. And, yes, embarrassed by her...because she IS a woman with fame and different opportunities and she has not used them well.

Re: indifference in general. I have never thought about it like that. You pass people in the store and never even glance their way, you drive next to people and don't even know what they look like. I guess indifference is just part of our lives in one sense.....maybe we get too used to that. I doubt we're called to indifference.

ken

I like Laura's example of indiffence. I think that movie stars are not really part of our world the same way. If I met Paris on the street (yes, we are on a first-name basis) to be indifferent to her would be wrong as a Christian. Jesus would have welcomed the opportunity to speak with her. On the other hand, my indifference to what she is doing and saying is not necessarily envy or wrong. I don't think that we should be focused on who and what she is in that way. It just feeds the paparazzi.

Going back to Laura's example, we should not be indifferent to those that we come in contact with, even for just a moment or two. This kind of indiffence is a lack of love for those around us. That is something we should be avoiding and working at changing.

Dilawarjeet Singh

I think love has jealousy and possessiveness.

The comments to this entry are closed.