Proverbs 27:4 Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy
So how does someone stand before envy?
Well, let’s just assume that this thing, envy, is a person. No, let’s imagine that this thing envy is any one of four people.
Envy #1 She’s a killer queen.
She demands to be the queen bee. She will let you be number two (maybe) unless you are far too much of a rival. In which case, she will do everything she can to eliminate you.
“Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” you will never be able to get too close to her, unless you are self-efacing and let her assume a leadership role over you. Who wants that kind of relationship? Steer clear.
Envy #2 She’s insecure.
Or feels inferior. In many of these cases, She would secretly like to be your friend, and wouldn’t even envy you (not so much, anyway) if she were in your circle. Or, maybe, she just is intimidated by your warmth and confidence. Group two types usually are not concerned with being the fairest of them all, they just don’t want to be the dullest.
Envy #3 She’s not really envious in a bad vibe way.
And she doesn’t necessarily admire you as a person. But she does admire your looks, talent, money or success, though she doesn’t necessarily want you not to have those things…she just wishes she had a bit of it herself.
In the case of person number one, you really aren’t wise to try to convince this person to be your friend. And any deposits of kindness you try to invest in her will almost surely be met with scorn and contempt.
If you believe in loving your enemy inspite of their hatred toward you, then I recommend doing acts of kindness behind their back, with no hope of a reward from them. You can always pray for them.
In the case of person number two, I recommend extending the right hand of fellowship to them. Give them heartfelt invitations to join your circle of friends. One very effective way fo winning their trust is to bring a group of others with you when you invite them. Prompt your friends ahead of time to pour on the love and affirmation. This personality type suffers from low self-esteem, and a lack of belonging. Include them and watch their attitude melt away.
Another note: These personality types often find it hard to express themselves and to reach out socially. Let them shine! Invite them into each conversation. It’s important, of course, that you are sincere in your praise. You don’t want to gush or seem cheesy. But yes, heartfelt compliments and asking their opinion, in front of the group, are great ways to ease their self-consciousness and hopefully win a fan for life.
With type number three, you may be dealing with someone who doesn’t even view you as friend material. Be a friend anyway, and you may just find them reaching back for fellowship. In either case, don’t let their lack of interest in you as a friend, or even their resentment ever stop you from being all that you can be.
It’s worth nothing that none of these scenarios completely or even adequately define someone who is fearful that you will encroach upon their favored position with another, particularly someone who thinks their mate would be attracted to you. If they really, really like you, have been friends with you in the past or for some time in the present, then they might opt to keep their friendship with you while at the same time keeping you away from their significant other. But unless there was at one time a friendship between your, or , perhaps, you are a celebrity they’ve always wanted to befriend, then usually they will never decide to be or stay your friend…the risk is far too great.
For example, if someone knew you all throughout high school, and then later reconnected with you at a high school reunion, they might still be your friend provided they could keep you from meeting their spouse. This might be the case in a friendship where you were both close, lost touch, and then reconnected, only for them to find that you were no longer an ugly duckling. Or maybe they had become one. Or maybe neither of you were unattractive, but you had kept your youth whereas they had not. You get the picture.
Romantic relationships are not the only situations this occurs in. Sometimes neighborhood mom’s are secretly rivalrous of one another, and think that the other mom is a hot shot. It only takes one episode of little suzy or johnny coming home from a sleepover declaring that “Mrs. so and so is the greatest”.
Some Moms are insecure about their parenting ability, their kid’s affection for them, or just being “cool” enough.
If you work with someone who for no apparent reason can’t stand you, it could be that they think you are a threat to their position or promotion.
Clerical favor (pastor likes me best).
Pray. Oh do pray hard. This may be the most wicked, insidious,, demonic, cut throat envy there is. Think, King Saul and David.
One final Note: Sometimes these dynamics operate on a smaller, less harmful scale. Sibling rivalry is a good example. So are sporting events (though we all know that even childhood sports can escalate from rivalry into adult tantrums). In all cases, the litmus test for the other’s toxicity is the feeling they have toward you personally.
“You’ve got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away, and know when to run”–sang by Kenny Rogers.
If a woman looks hurt when you walk into a room, and you are drop dead gorgeous, then she deserves your affirmation and compassion.
If a woman looks sideways at you and grabs her husband, then she may warm up to you in the future. You’ll have to prove that you are no threat to her marriage, and not come on to strong in initiating hospitality right away.
But if a woman is throwing daggers with her eyes and is locked in a death stare with you, avoid her completely. She is dangerous.