Saturday, July 4, 2009

Envy in the Workplace

While researching this series, I read an article by a psychologist on dealing with envy at work. A person will get a promotion, and someone is bitter, feeling that they should have gotten the promotion.

The promoted employee tries being nice, but it doesn't work. Why not? Because the envious person feels that he is a victim of the successful person. The envious person doesn't have to take it personally, but he feels that the promotion is rightfully his (or hers) and the friendliness of the "winner" doesn't change that.

So what should the victim of envy do? After being nice and not succeeding, the person with the promotion needs to go on. But if there is a conflict, the person might need to say "I got the promotion because I'm better than you."

But you can't do that in Christian service; we're supposed to be humble, remember? So how do you deal with envy in the church?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How Long Will Envy Last?

Ec 9:6 Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; Nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun.

In the book of Ecclesiastes, an older and wiser Solomon looks back wearily on his life of failure. Given great wisdom and a great kingdom by God, he squandered away his blessings with sin. But he never lost his wisdom, and he passes it on to us.

Throughout the book, Solomon states repeatedly that almost everything done on earth will eventually perish. He concludes that we need to live for God, Who will reward us for obedience. In this passage, Solomon points out that the envy of people who die perish with them. Any bitterness, jealousy, envy, hatred, etc., that we have will die when we do, and the aged Solomon points out that nobody cares about them anymore.

Live for Christ while you can, and leave evil emotions to others.