Jealousy: The Real Root of All Evil

 

Think money is the root of all evil?  Wrong. It isn’t. Granted, it’s right up there with the major players, and certainly worthy enough, but the real problem is jealousy.  Jealousy starts wars, ends marriages, kills friendships, jobs and industries.  Seriously. Jealousy is the root of all evil.

While money is a regular passenger on the Jealousy Express, it’s not the driver. And, nowhere in the Ten Commandments is money mentioned.  It’s implicit, sure, but jealousy is the inherent antagonist: Thou shall not steal…anything…not just cash. Now, not coveting your neighbor’s wife or goods…bingo!  That’s where the utterly repugnant and deservedly maligned jealousy thing takes center stage.

And lots of folks fall prey to the seductive pheromone jealousy exudes. That’s why it’s so perilous.

So, what to do? Luckily, we are intelligent and resilient human beings who (generally) endeavor to lead a life that is not fraught with ugliness and malice. Thus, a few practical, if not entirely novel, suggestions:

  1. Earn your own way. Seriously. Stop hoping for the local unicorn to spirit you away to that place where unbridled joy lives. Do. It. Yourself. You will earn your own self-respect. And, you’ll be a much better person.
  1. Stop living above your means. I can’t say this emphatically enough. It boggles the mind how many people buy $200 kicks on credit, when they can easily purchase a $50 pair for cash. (Three figures for China-made goods?) You’re better than that. Stop behaving like spoiled celebrities and start developing your own style.
  1. Think for yourself. No one deserves that privilege but you. Others might try to influence your innate good reason by using the jealousy ploy. Don’t take the bait.
  1. Be brave. I mean it. What’s wrong with a little courage, in order to do the right thing? Jealousy feeds on cowardice.
  1. Do the right thing. If that little conscious-y device starts squeaking, chances are you have an important decision to make. Choose wisely. Jealously loves injudiciousness.

Finally, begin to be grateful. Not only for what you have, but also for what you have been given.  And for what you can give. Appreciation begets happiness, and it’s a recognized theorem that jealousy cannot survive in a joyful nature. Trust me.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 24 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    You really need to post more than once a year, especially if they are all as good as this one.

    • #1
  2. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    I think PRIDE is the greatest sin.  All the virtue signaling and Marxist identity politics is driven by pride, not jealousy.  Our societal strife these days is not about wanting what others have, it is about punishing others that are unworthy.  People are canceled, because people in power want to flaunt their virtue and get fans and praise to stroke their pride. 

    What to do?  Call it out.  Embrace grace and promote it.  Call for humility as we are all sinners and made equal in the eyes of God–life is not a hierarchy of “purity”.  Don’t join the sheeple in putting black/yellow/pink/… boxes in your profile.   

    • #2
  3. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    “Nobody needs that much money!” If those words come out of your mouth, you’re not minding your own business.

    • #3
  4. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):
    I think PRIDE is the greatest sin. 

    . . . his Pride
    Had cast him out from Heav’n, with all his Host
    Of Rebel Angels, by whose aid aspiring
    To set himself in Glory above his Peers,
    He trusted to have equal’d the most High,
    If he oppos’d; and with ambitious aim
    Against the Throne and Monarchy of God
    Rais’d impious War in Heav’n and Battel proud
    With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Power
    Hurld headlong flaming from th’ Ethereal Skie 
    With hideous ruine and combustion down
    To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
    In Adamantine Chains and penal Fire,
    Who durst defie th’ Omnipotent to Arms.

    • #4
  5. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    I see a strong push for integrity embedded in your exhortations.

    • #5
  6. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    The Left strongly consists of the “politics of envy”. Their tactics always attempt to bring down those at the top rather than helping to lift up those at the bottom. Just look at any communist society, where the only ones living the high life are the rulers, with the proletariat in poverty beneath them.   Right now in our country, the new rulers are in the process, all over society, of taxing “the rich” into penury, getting rid of the merit system in high school and college admissions, and grabbing as much as they can for themselves. 

    • #6
  7. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    I recall hearing or reading this: “Envy is an acid that eats at one’s soul.”

    • #7
  8. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    If we’re getting into the Seven Deadly Sins, let’s not forget sloth:

    • #8
  9. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Arahant (View Comment):

    If we’re getting into the Seven Deadly Sins, let’s not forget sloth:

    Isn’t sloth what makes most of those other sins go?

    First, we see that Republicans commit this sin handily.

    Well, we could even say conservatives do, as well.

    Perhaps this is why the Lord exhorts Christians to do missionary work and teach to bring those sinners away from those sins because we need to overcome the sin of ‘sloth’ that keeps the good word from spreading.

    • #9
  10. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    If we’re getting into the Seven Deadly Sins, let’s not forget sloth:

    Isn’t sloth what makes most of those other sins go?

    I think they certainly do work together to multiply effects.

    • #10
  11. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    If we’re getting into the Seven Deadly Sins, let’s not forget sloth:

    Isn’t sloth what makes most of those other sins go?

    I think they certainly do work together to multiply effects.

    I did a little edit to express what I was thinking.

    • #11
  12. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    UPTOWNGIRL: Think money is the root of all evil?

    No. LOVE of money is the root of all kinds of evil.

    And from thence derives envy (not jealousy).

    Jealousy is desiring that which belongs to you. Which is how you get both God who is both jealous and love while love does not covet.

     

    • #12
  13. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    Perhaps this is why the Lord exhorts Christians to do missionary work and teach to bring those sinners away from those sins because we need to overcome the sin of ‘sloth’ that keeps the good word from spreading.

    No doubt about this. But my point was that given any two of the seven, things get worse than with just one. If anything, sloth can be the exception, since it might mitigate pursuit of the others.

    • #13
  14. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    Perhaps this is why the Lord exhorts Christians to do missionary work and teach to bring those sinners away from those sins because we need to overcome the sin of ‘sloth’ that keeps the good word from spreading.

    No doubt about this. But my point was that given any two of the seven, things get worse than with just one. If anything, sloth can be the exception, since it might mitigate pursuit of the others.

    I think we might be getting somewhere here. I see sloth as enabling the success of the others. Sloth, or idleness, enables control, a principal weapon of the extreme socialists. This is the environment to which I was referring when I listed Republicans and conservatives as being helpful to the other sins by being slothful. And that is a danger to Christians as well. I am a member of all those and that is what I see. We are all clearly on the defensive in the political environment in America today and sloth, or inaction, is a big reason. Those who excel at many of the other deadly sins see and understand that promoting sloth, first in the general populace, and,  secondarily in groups not so interested in control of other people but might actually represent threats if mobilized, helps them stay on top.

    • #14
  15. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    UPTOWNGIRL: Jealousy feeds on cowardice.

    Indeed.  And the reverse is true too. 

    UPTOWNGIRL: Finally, begin to be grateful. Not only for what you have, but also for what you have been given.  And for what you can give. Appreciation begets happiness, and it’s a recognized theorem that jealousy cannot survive in a joyful nature. Trust me.

    I do.  Everything I’ve seen in the last six-and-a-half decades tells me that what you say is true.

     

    • #15
  16. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    The proper response to seeing someone who has more or better things (including a job) than you do is “how did you get what you have, and what can I do to achieve that myself?”.

    • #16
  17. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    The proper response to seeing someone who has more or better things (including a job) than you do is “how did you get what you have, and what can I do to achieve that myself?”.

    I would add only, “I’m delighted to see you so successful. How did you get what you have, and what can I do …” etc.

    • #17
  18. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    Perhaps this is why the Lord exhorts Christians to do missionary work and teach to bring those sinners away from those sins because we need to overcome the sin of ‘sloth’ that keeps the good word from spreading.

    No doubt about this. But my point was that given any two of the seven, things get worse than with just one. If anything, sloth can be the exception, since it might mitigate pursuit of the others.

    Agreed. I’d be much more sinful if I weren’t so doggone lazy.

    • #18
  19. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    I have to disagree with the OP.

    Jealousy is a serious problem, though I generally use the word envy.  As others have pointed out, there are other sources of sin, like the other 6 of the 7 deadlies.

    • #19
  20. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    This is interesting:

    What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is the source not your pleasures that wage war in your body’s parts?  You lust and do not have, so you commit murder. And you are envious and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask.  You ask and do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motives, so that you may spend what you request on your pleasures. James 4:1-3

    • #20
  21. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Someone once noted that envy is the only sin that isn’t any fun. 

    Envy can be helpful as a personal goad to industriousness but it is self-reinforcing and as noted earlier, soul-destroying. 

    • #21
  22. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    C S Lewis had some related comments in his response to a hostile review by the eminent scientist JBS Haldane.  Among other things,, Haldane attacked Lewis for the latter’s refusal to absolutely condemn usury, and celebrated the fact that “Mammon has been cleared off a sixth of our planet’s surface”…clearly referring to the Soviet Union. Here’s part of Lewis’s response:

    The difference between us is that the Professor sees the ‘World’ purely in terms of those threats and those allurements which depend on
    money. I do not. The most ‘worldly’ society I have ever lived in is
    that of schoolboys: most worldly in the cruelty and arrogance of
    the strong, the toadyism and mutual treachery of the weak, and
    the unqualified snobbery of both. Nothing was so base that most
    members of the school proletariat would not do it, or suffer it, to
    win the favour of the school aristocracy: hardly any injustice too
    bad for the aristocracy to practise. But the class system did not in
    the least depend on the amount of pocket money. Who needs to
    care about money if most of the things he wants will be offered by
    cringing servility and the remainder can be taken by force? This
    lesson has remained with me all my life. That is one of the reasons
    why I cannot share Professor Haldane’s exaltation at the banishment
    of Mammon from ‘a sixth of our planet’s surface’. I have
    already lived in a world from which Mammon was banished: it
    was the most wicked and miserable I have yet known. If
    Mammon were the only devil, it would be another matter. But
    where Mammon vacates the throne, how if Moloch takes his
    place? As Aristotle said, ‘Men do not become tyrants in order to
    keep warm’. All men, of course, desire pleasure and safety. But all
    men also desire power and all men desire the mere sense of being ‘in
    the know’ or the ‘inner ring’, of not being ‘outsiders’: a passion
    insufficiently studied and the chief theme of my story. When the
    state of society is such that money is the passport to all these
    prizes, then of course money will be the prime temptation. But
    when the passport changes, the desires will remain.

    More excerpts from Lewis’s response here.

     

     

    • #22
  23. Nancy Spalding Thatcher
    Nancy Spalding
    @NancySpalding

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    The proper response to seeing someone who has more or better things (including a job) than you do is “how did you get what you have, and what can I do to achieve that myself?”.

    If you actually want it— many people have “more” or “better” than I but not of something I desire for more than a passing moment…

    • #23
  24. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Nancy Spalding (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    The proper response to seeing someone who has more or better things (including a job) than you do is “how did you get what you have, and what can I do to achieve that myself?”.

    If you actually want it— many people have “more” or “better” than I but not of something I desire for more than a passing moment…

    Yes, at some point enough is enough.  If I have a car or house that I think is great, I don’t care that you have one that is four times as costly. 

    • #24