Envy is coveting. Covet is number 10 of the 10 Commandments.
You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his male of female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. Exodus 20:17
God has blessed us far more than what we deserve and beyond measure. Therefore, physically, I have very little envy for "things." My envy comes in the form of emotional desires. For example, when I notice that some one who has a zeal for God that is more than my own, I become envious. Or, maybe God has blessed someone with a gift of humor and I think, "I wish I was funnier and wittier...."
At envy's core it is not being content and satisfied with what God has given me. God made me who I am and gave me a special purpose. He doesn't want me to be like someone else, but to just be satisfied with the way he made ME!
You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. James 4:2
In beating down the sin of envy in our hearts, we need God's help. He even tells us to ask him! Through prayer and petition, I can overcome and be content with the way he made me.
The challenge I also have before me is raising my children to understand how blessed they are and that they must work for what they desire. And, we haven't always had plenty. I find myself holding things back from my boys things that other kids might get automatically so that they learn to either work hard or be content with what they have. I grew up in a family that had enough, but not plenty. There were some hard times, but we were content. When Stephen and I were newly married and I was putting him through dental school, we ate Pasta Roni all the time and penny-pinched. No matter where we are, I want my kids to understand--either be content or ask God and work hard.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Philippians 4:12
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. Proverbs 14:30
Thank you, God for blessing us with plenty and being able to give back to you generously.