Competition is good, right? It drives us to be better – whether that’s on a personal level at work, or in sports, or as a business. Competition can be a really good thing.
But, for many of us, competition can take a wrong turn toward Envy.
At its best, envy remains a hidden pool of ingratitude and resentment, secretly applauding the downfall and sorrow of others. At its worst, envy strikes others through slander or gossip or actively tries to cause others to fail. Envy brings tension and conflict into families, schools, offices, parishes, and society. (catholic.org)
We’ve all felt this before – at least the first half of that – secretly applauding when someone else fails. It might seem harmless, but the reason envy is a ‘deadly sin’ or a ‘capital sin’ is that envy is the basis for other sins. That ‘secretly applauding’ can fester and manifest into a lot of ugly things.
So, what do we do? We must remember that we are on the same team with the same goal. All of us, even the person who is your ‘enemy’, are still human beings destined for Heaven.
When we take a hard look at envy in our lives, we can’t help but notice its irony. How often are we envious of someone for having something that we ourselves wouldn’t even want! Just the fact that they have ‘it’ bothers us. Or, the times when we are envious of the person that is very similar to us – similar age, similar job, goes to the same church, kids in same class, etc. It’s these people that we want to ‘beat.’ But, it’s these people who most likely share in our values – even the most important ones like our faith!
So, let’s remember, Heaven is not a zero sum game. We are called to ‘reorder’ ourselves so we don’t rejoice in others’ failure, and grieve in others’ success, but rejoice with them in success and grieve with them in failure! It is certainly a humbling task.
Be the Men.