Discerning the Spirit of Envy

3 Observations on Jealousy

I was talking to some young ministers recently who have become popular on the national landscape. They shared that they sense jealousy and criticism from their peers in response to what they say. I’ve noticed something kind of interesting. When we are being critical in ministry, or pick on other people, it’s often not because of something they said —it’s because of envy.

There are a few key elements to envy:

  1. Envy is desiring something someone else has.  In Mark 15:20, Pilot noted that it was for envy that the Jewish leaders brought Jesus forward for trial.  This was very discerning of Pilot. You see, envy is an emotion you need to understand. If someone is doing something that you thought you could do but didn’t do, then you experience jealousy or envy. I’m never jealous of a prizefighter who knocks somebody out. I’m never jealous of a rock star who has a big following. You know why? I’m not a boxer and I’m not a singer. No matter the career field you are in, if you see someone attaining favor and results that you intuitively know you could have had also—but you didn’t take the steps to get there—that’s envy! It’s essential to learn to celebrate the victories of others if we are to proceed with the right heart and walk in a place of favor.
  2. Be on guard when envy creeps in. Start to watch where that comes from. The enemy wants to keep you focused on what you don’t have—on who you aren’t—instead of on who God made you to be and how far you've come.
  3. Don’t try to be someone else. Comparison is the death of authenticity. Be fully who you are. Recognize that God will never hold back anything from you that is in the field of possibility. Heaven plays no favorites. Your task is to fully develop your own capacity. When you are jealous or envious of others, it’s because someone else is attaining results of which you are also capable. Observe and figure out what steps they are taking that you haven’t yet.

Note: If YOU are the target of envy and jealousy, take it as the backhanded compliment that it is.

Question: Who are you critical of? Is jealousy the root of this criticism? Who are you comparing yourself with? Do you need to “let it go”? Can you bear to hear others celebrated in your presence? Release all unhealthy comparisons. Discover your unique task. Work your own field!  Let the Lord speak to you about who you are and who you are meant to be. Comment below!

Want to learn how to walk this out? September 9-11 in Dallas we will be finding our place and working our field at Kingdom and Calling 7m Summit 2016. Find out more at 7mSummit.com.

As One!


Comparison is the death of authenticity.

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52 thoughts on “Discerning the Spirit of Envy

  1. I wonder though – I always thought it was okay to want something someone else has if it is a legitimate desire and there is no jealousy. For example, Bob has a horse and I want one. So I work to make it happen because I’ve always wanted a horse too. In that case, would that be considered envy?

    • No, remember the Wonderful Holy Spirit only places good desires in our heart, nothing wrong with desiring a horse, horses are good…??

  2. In chronic pain, my spine. No money, nothing not a cent, lost all, everything. Am \I envious of others ? When I comment on others.

      • for example. Some people clearly don’t get healed. What are they , I, to think of the preachers who quote scripture to the contrary? So the comment I made was not only for myself but for the many who read and listen to the preachers who preach about good health and wealth. Many people who walk with God are sick. I pray most of the day in the spirit, my Wife and myself pray each day / night, together, read the bible, and in general have a very good relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, We give to the Lord etc. We still have sickness. as do loads of people just like me, only some ae very young in the Lord. We must be very careful what we say or we could drive some young persons, Mad. yes Mad, I have seen it.

    • Hi William. Sounds like you are walking through a horrible season. As I drag through a sad, difficult season, it is so stinkin hard sometimes to look at social media…seeing others actually having fun, taking vacations, enjoying family time, ugg. Too much social media messes with the mind for sure in difficult times. I like what Steven Furtick said about this- we get to see that prettified final take, not behind the scenes. Blessings on you William for a fresh touch from the Master.

      • Sorry for ranting on. My point is. Some people may get jealous, etc. when they hear stories about “How the Lord has healed me” from others. I sometimes wonder, what have I done. Or why did God heal them, and not me. That what I was trying to say.

  3. If you are feeling envy toward someone else stop yourself and start flowing admiration to them. If you are receiving envy from someone, find something they do really well and admire them for that. Admiration: a feeling of wonder or delighted approval.
    Remember God is love. You are made in His image & likeness. Your default program is mercy, grace, love, peace & joy. ??????

    • I agree my friend, when negative thoughts attempt to invade your mind about someone, that’s when you say, “Help me here, Holy Spirit”, & He always does??

    • Thanks. I need to understand pain more. It only gets to me when I see other men older than me, enjoying the golf, or working. Life is strange. God’s knows how to keep us on track, and in line for the great prize, hard to believe. Anyone know of good sites with Godly content on pain, understanding pain.

  4. In my mind envy and jealousy can also be an indication of lack of faith. Pain and poverty for example can both be overcome by faith in Jesus. For example:
    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13 NKJ)
    But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. (Isa. 53:5 NKJ)
    Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. (Mal. 3:10 NKJ)

    • You know what Doug P.? A lot of Christians don’t know that we are already walking & living in Gods blessing and favor because of what Jesus did for us at Calvary. (Today), we are blessed with all Spiritual, physical, & financial blessings, through Him & our inheritance is ……IMMORTALITY!! We have eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, when? NOW! Nothing that happens to us in “this life” can compare to that & there’s nothing we could ever do (i.e. tithing) to earn or keep Gods’ blessings from flowing in our lives …these wonderful things are His gifts to us through Jesus, because He’s our PaPa & He truly loves us…Yeah!!!????

      • I can see what you are saying, and believe it.
        Now let me say, I came to know the Lord 45 years ago. I walked and fell like all. I have found that it is very easy, or not as hard, to praise the Lord when, one has money, and one has health.
        Paul writes about suffering several times.
        Also it is very upsetting to read / hear people quoting scripture about health. I have tried, I believe, I prayed, my wife prays.
        Now I am not complaining. I am bringing to the table, a very common problem. The Bible says one thing, but in reality it does not work out. Second a person in pain or very sick could end up very confused / upset reading or listening to kind people giving advice. At present the Church is not working, people are not been healed, maybe a little inner healing, something that does not need to be proven by medics. What does a person who is sick, broke, do when they cannot get to a conference on heling. How do they feel, maybe worse. Envy would be mild.

        • I understand exactly what you are saying William.If we were sitting together you would know I know. I will not give you scripture because you know them. I will not give you advice because you have had lots…more than enough.
          I try like you to live above and not below.
          Sometimes we succeed and other times we feel we don’t but that’s not how God sees us. He loves to love us.
          Lance gives free of charge a download called Convergence I am finding this very useful. Pain, perplexity and promotion by Bob Sorge also spoke to me.
          May the Holy Spirit’s leading be a blessing to you and your precious wife.

  5. VERY GOOD! Yeah, can see that in me!! WOW! Yeah, something to watch for in me!
    ALSO, the Lord just gave me this recently.

    I’ve been seeing soooo many Christians posting negative political stuff about the candidate they don’t like. He reminded me of OUR 2nd commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” And He asked me this, “If they’re posting the dirty laundry of their neighbor, and they are COMMANDED to love their neighbor as themselves, shouldn’t they be posting their own dirty laundry too? Or expecting others to do so?”

    Good question! How pure is our heart that He can pour His Glory through!


  6. I’ll call it “preacher envy”, hah!? Don’t those preachers have anything better to do than criticize each other and compare themselves among each other? How typical of where the “church” is today, so small minded…. Get off the milk bottle for God sake!!!

  7. When you are feeling envy toward someone else. Stop yourself & start flowing admiration to them. If you are receiving envy from someone, find something they are really good at & admire them for it.
    Admiration: a feeling of wonder or delighted approval. Since God is love and we are made in His image & likenes our default program is mercy, grace, love, peace and joy.

  8. hmm… I often feel like God is disappointed in me when I look at others successes and I feel like I can/should be doing that. But what keeps me from doing it is fear I will make a mistake and then feeling like I’ve be a disappointment to God. Is that envy?

    • Peg, my beautiful Sister, in Christ. Let me tell you something, God is never, ever disappointed with us. Do you realize or understand how in love God is with mankind….we are His prized possession, He was so passionate about us that He came robed in flesh & gave His life & rose up again to redeem us to Himself. If God put something good in your heart to do, just do it! & trust Him for the things that aren’t “humanly” possible to do..Please remember that He sent Holy Spirit to comfort & encourage us, He will never condemn us or beat us up, so please don’t allow the enemy to make you beat yourself up & please do yourself a favor, stop looking at others & start looking at Jesus & let Holy Spirit direct you. Just take some time to listen with your heart, He is always speaking & He will answer whatever you ask Him, just say “o.k. Holy Spirit, here I am, what’s next? Then listen…..???

  9. I thank God and praise Jesus every day that I’m not Lance Wallnau. You are correct, I don’t envy you nor am I jealous of you. What true follower of Christ would want your beliefs, emotions, thoughts, words, actions, and appearance. You are the poster child for charlatans. I will enjoy watching you burn in a Hell of your own making. God is going to get you Lance Wallnau, preferably with extreme Old Testament wrath.

    • That was the most ugly and hateful thing I have read in a while. Shame shame Stephen…. You sould like you’re full of demons. What would make you say such horrible things… Hell. I feel very sorry for you and i pray you see the light before it’s too late buddy.
      You should keep your ugliness to yourself. I know this man probably prays for God to be good to you… think about that.

      If you don’t have anything good to say, you probably shouldn’t say anything goes at all…

      • Apparently, Maddie you have not been blessed with the discernment of the Holy Ghost. I pray in the True Name of Our Savior, Yeshua, that you receive a full measure of Holy Ghost power discernment so you can see the true nature of this Demon who calls himself Lance Wallnau. Be he thrown in the river with a millstone ’round his neck for leading any of my Brothers and Sisters in Christ down the gold paved road to Hell.

    • That was the most ugly and hateful thing I have read in a while. Shame shame Stephen…. You sound like you’re full of demons spirits. What would make you say such horrible things… Hell.
      I feel very sorry for you and i pray you see the light before it’s too late.
      You should keep your ugliness to yourself. I know this man probably prays for God to be good to you… think about that.

      If you don’t have anything good to say, you probably shouldn’t say anything at all…

  10. I my self don’t really do envy. .I’ve always loved encouraging people better ..cleverer whatever it is .
    Although through out my life I have suffied from people being envious..and it’s so painful…?

  11. If you would have asked me before I read this, I would have told you infatically I am not jealous of anyone. No one! But, in fact I am, honestly at times, critical of others. Which is translated to be jealousy. And, now that I see it, I plan to take care of it!
    Thank you.

  12. The covenant engenders envy . So it is to be expected . I believe we just need to walk in love and we are sure of a hurt free zone no matter who is angry about our blessings

  13. May I offer some information I received in an intensive Bible Study years ago that has GREATLY impacted my understanding of why God lists ALL three words (covetousness, jealousy, envy) in the Scriptures? 1) Covet = wanting what someone else has; 2) jealousy = NOT wanting someone else to have what you have; and, 3) ENVY = NOT wanting someone else to have what YOU don’t have…Wow, does that wake one up to why “envy” is so abominable to the Lord!! So when I see that the Pharisees “envied” the Lord, I see that they realized they didn’t have the respect & following of the people…and they sure didn’t want Jesus to have it either! The first two are a matter of perhaps failure to understand how good God is and His faithfulness to provide good things to ME…but that last one is a symptom of an unloving, wicked heart for OTHERS. Maybe this is of interest to you as well <3

  14. Envy is a strange phenomena…… it can look so different from what it really is. I used to be the most positive person in my office and now I feel worn out with colleagues ignoring my input, passive aggressive remarks and behaviors towards me. Synicism and sarcasim are the rule of the office now more than I ever saw before, five years down the road. I have been attempting to strategize with Holy Spirit and bind spirits I’m aware of before work and pray in the opposite things I see. I have pulled way back and can’t even approach or talk to a couple of colleagues that remain rude and abusive. I understand the reaping and sowing principle, so I am constantly asking myself what part I play in creating this dynamic. There seems to be cliches that allign and pull others in, I have never been one to engage in this dynamic and don’t even know how. Was self employed for 30 years and now find myself in a big staff setting. Would love some input from you. I have been watching your utubes and drinking in your convergence material.

    • Kathleen,
      Here is something I have practiced a long while now. When dealing with difficult people, ask God what are the spirits in operation in them. What He shows you can be turned into a strategic prayer for each of them, by crafting a prayer using scripture and declarations. I also ask in prayer for God to mount guard His peace over my mind and the minds of others… before I walk into the room where the difficult people/coworkers are. Declare the spirit of Shalom (peace) walks with you where ever you go in your workplace…and especially in your personal space, or cubical.
      We are the light and peace in these dark enviorments.
      Don’t lose hope, God has your back.

  15. Lance and family, your messages have been exceedingly on target! Please never back down!
    I’m a teacher and I am now, in the Holy Spirit, able to shape culture without acting in a way that repels others.
    I’m 56 and only started teaching 5 years ago after hearing the 7M message and praying “God use me.”
    Periscope and email messages keep me in the game and relevant.
    Pray for me. I’m about to teach about government taking over and how they are the only ones gaining money, power and resources. I’m using the book The Sneeches as my base! Essential Question: Who or what organization is benefiting from pitting one American people group against another?
    Next, somethings got to be said about our students who have been conditioned to comply and seemingly have no internal or external motivating factor.
    Thanks for fanning the flame. Please pray I don’t step on any mines in this field!

  16. Envy and jealousy, such an ugly feeing. I counteract jealousy by consciously choosing to stop those negative thoughts (take all thoughts captive) and replace with thankfulness and ask God to multiply blessings to the person. I’m sure the devil hates that and that makes it easier because I never want to be in agreement with the acusser. ( how do you spell accuser?) It helps to remind myself that God has plans and purposes for my good as well. It’s a test of character. Thought provoking Lance. Thanks.

  17. I agree Lance….would like to add that I was taught that envy comes from a deep inner belief that God has more for someone else than for yourself, that He favours one above another. As we journey and surrender to Him He has such amazing and good things for us all according to who He is and who He has called us to be and who He kniws us to be. There is no need for sibling rivalry at all….a mans(or woman”s) gift makes room for itself…and when we come to tge place where we are so happy He made us who we are and just want Jesus in everything tgen its so just so good. Going to throw a slight spanner in the works. I believe there is such a thing as legitimate jealousy. God is a jealous God….for what is His and I LOVE tge fact that He is. He wants my heart so much and all that I am because He is my Daddy Nd my maker and I His legitimately. Likewise if somone else or something else came between my husband and I or gained his affections more than towards me other than The Lord of course then tgere would be a right jealousy in my heart. I would have to take that to the Lord so tgat I wouldn’t get cruel or wrong in it but my place would have been usurped and tgat is not right……

  18. Love these e-mails – they are like little nuggets of gold. I especially like- Comparison is the death of authenticity. Love it. Thanks Lance and God bless you for all that you do. I was in one of your meetings a long time ago in Detroit with Kim Clement. Awesome.

  19. Wow! Yes!
    So, translated for myself:
    1) Stop being put down by people who are envious and therefore attacking. Instead take it as a compliment!
    2) Stop putting yourself down for not having achieved what you see someone else achieving.
    3) Recognize envy, put it down. Instead, thank God and bless those who inspire you to greater effort in your calling! (Because we are one Body and it takes all the saints to comprehend the Treasure. )

  20. At the age of 63 I am comfortable in what I am yet Always looking for the more that God says that I am in Him. I love the radical ways of our younger people and they inspire me to be bolder. Things that I always thought I should be doing are becoming easier to step into.

  21. This teaching is so rich that we can taste the sweetness of it for our entire life. The protection from distractions and false words and so many other key issues of staying in Gods will is so wrapped up in this that I hope you dig deeper and expound on this word. Comparison being the killer of authenticity is a pearl to its own! Our ministry is 13th of Grace and it is founded on Hebres 13:5. Our identity is our salt and light.

  22. This is so right on and so common in ministry. Jealousy in excess can release a murdering spirit so it is crucial for the body of Christ to allow the Holy Spirit it create a clean heart in them. That is the only way to fulfill you true purpose in life.

  23. I am never Envious of anyone else, because, I can do all things, because of Jesus Christ. I am happy about
    the accomplishments of others, and have helped a lot to succeed. No that’s not my mission in life. My mind is on my own ministry and trying to accomplish that for Christ. Envy is a detraction from the devil.
    My focus is on the Lord Jesus Christ and to please “HIM.”

  24. hat a word from the Lord! Its so true and I plan on using this my current season of blessings! This really gave me peace about many things that I am experiencing God bless you!

  25. Please check and see why I was blocked from Lance’s Periscope and maybe Facebook too? I have know idea why. Plus I have invested quite a bit of money towards the dashboard from the Kingdom Wealth Conference in Fort Mill back in the spring. My name is Sharon Wise. Sharonlwise7@gmail.com. 336-971-8072. His deal was to donate 250.00 per month to Global Celebration for 6 months.

  26. Hi Lance, just finished reading ‘God’s Chaos Candidate’. Superb!! Confirmations through your book came perfectly timed as the Holy Spirit had already led me to vote for Trump very similar to how He led you, followed by a mentoring me on the life and character of Winston Churchill. I had never heard of you but after sharing with someone prior to the primaries how God had been moving, they said the similarity of my experience sounded very much like the authors of a book they had just finished. She mailed it to me and I devoured it the same day! Thank you for your ministry. Abundant blessings!!

  27. 40+ years ago I was a secular musician. The Lord opened my eyes one night and allowed me to see how my talent was entertaining people on their way to Hell. I quit, started attending church, got saved, then began using my musical skills for the Lord. I entertained ideas of becoming a Minister of Music, but never thought of it as a calling. The church was growing rapidly, and with new members came more musicians. Over time, my love for music took on an idolatrous life of its own–I had become the bass guitarist for a church orchestra that had become the “buzz” in the city where I was living at the time. Along about then I developed tinnitus and eventually had to quit playing ( I also wrote songs.) The depression that followed got bad enough to require crisis intervention. I left the church to join one where the membership was small and the “joyfull noise” was more tolerable. After a 3 year hiatus I went back to playing, but it never brought much satisfaction. I’ve not played now in years. The struggle for which I’ve written you concerns my envy and disgust for a younger cousin on whom God has poured out an abundance of talent, musically. He is Choral Director at a prestigious university, a distinction that would make him a bright star in our family’s constellation, so to speak. But he’s in a same-sex marriage. The thought of that lifestyle infuriates me, and I want God to tell me why He heaped so much talent on one of the most despicable members of the family. I once longed for the privilege of writing a hymn or praise chorus that would garner traction and become popular in churches across the land, but it’s as if the dream went up in smoke. But the smoke isn’t thick enough to hide my gay cousin who has a glorious occupation and gets paid well for enjoying it.

  28. This is wonderful, bringing clarity as my husband and I are targets of a pastor’s envy. We were sent there to receive ministry and serve. It hasn’t went that well even after being there for over a year. We would leave, but we feel led to stay and to be a light. We are senior citizens, in our 60s, married for 43 years. It is sad, that we must continue to guard ourselves even from this. Thank you for such a great message and your openness to admit that envious thoughts come your way.

  29. Comparison is not the death of authenticity… it is envy. Envy is the position you choose after you have made the comparison. To choose envy ( different from jealousy ) is to wish not what they have but the destruction of what the other has through spite toward that individual. The only satisfaction is derived from destroying the soul and spirit of what that individual holds. Spite stop what that other is doing at all costs so that one does not have to feel they are less. If I compare myself with another and realize i am not that indivual and i dance to another toon I have merely compared and not taken a position against it. Envy is a choice. a toxic choice which would destroy authenticity. It is in essence giving up one ones own abilities of moving forward and focusing on revenge of the abilities that others have instead of ones own. … I guess better not to compare because continuing comparisson leads to disatisfaction… then toxic envy the more advanced form of …. this cancer of the mind.