As posts for what we are thankful for and family or significant other pictures begin to saturate our social media, it seems only fitting that envy is the only remaining deadly sin to consider. Envy, that green-eyed monster, is the motivation that caused Cain to kill Abel. It is an all-consuming jealousy that causes us to react with negative intentions and emotions.
Envy is caused by many different things. Wealth, beauty, success, good health. It trips us up as we compare our lives to our fellows. And that is the key right there, the comparison. To envy someone, we have to have taken notice of what they have and what we have; we have to judge ourselves beside someone else. We are often told to not judge others, but we also have not business judging ourselves. It is not our place to decide what we should or should not have. We don't determine our success by comparing it to others. Don't assume that because person X or Y has or has done something in particular that you are less than they are; that you need what they have.
Social media is one of those outlets that can really trip us into envious thoughts about our friends and family. Facebook tends to enable to not only see the Jones family occasionally, but all the time. We know about their new car, their son's scholarship, and their daughter's excellent ballet skills. We can see who is in a relationship, how much weight they have lost, and where they work. But beyond social media, we see the clothes others where, we hear them talk about their vacation plans, and envy sets in.
The first step in avoiding is envy is by admitting that we all are jealous at times. Similar to lust, this a normal human emotion. It is how we act that creates the sin. The perpetual comparison that leads to unhealthy relationships (Cain and Abel) and terrible actions. From there, we need to intentionally notice what we have and be thankful for it. And there is no week more fitting than this week and this upcoming season to take stock and say "thank you" for all we have been blessed with. We should rejoice in another's success as much as we do in our own.