Jealousy, Covetousness, Nonstealing...

By any name, envy is wrong in world religions.

 

Envy is about much more than simply wanting your best friend's fancy car--or even your neighbor's wife. World religions agree that while envy includes longing for what someone else has, it is often interpreted as wishing someone else badly out of jealousy, not rejoicing in another's content or success, or appropriating property not one's own. Use this guide to see where the five major religions stand on that sin of sins, greed.





Buddhism

Like greed, envy is a quality that keeps a person in a state of samsara, or continual rebirths. Envy runs counter to the concept of giving. One who gives is freed from envy, as the Majjhima Nikaya states, " A person who gives freely is loved by all. It's hard to understand, but it is by giving that we gain strength. But there is a proper time and proper way to give, and the person who understands this is strong and wise. By giving with a feeling of reverence for life, envy and anger are banished. " Milarepa, the 11th-century Buddhist poet and sage, described envy as one of the six fetters of non-liberation.

Christianity

Christians follow the Ten Commandments and heed the tenth, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's." The sin of envy is explained in the Gospel, as the book of Luke states: "Take heed, and beware of all covetousness; for a man's life does not consist of his possessions (Luke 12:15)." Saint Thomas Aquinas defined envy as "sorrow for another's good." In Catholic thought, envy runs counter to the supreme virtue, charity. Envy also may lead to other vices, including hatred and rejoicing over the misfortunes of others. Orthodox Christians believe similary - the

Apostolic Fathers wrote

that jealousy was a more wicked sin than other sins because it was hidden, and that envy is the root of all evils. Mormons eschew envy as well. "See that ye love one another; cease to be covetous; learn to impart one to another as the gospel requires," the Mormon Doctrine & Covenant states.



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