When envy is present within the hearts and minds of individuals, jealousy usually isn’t far off. Envy and jealousy often feed off of one another breeding the other feeling. Envy arises deep inside the human soul, aroused by someone else’s material possessions, personality or unique gifts resulting in a spirit of discontent and resentment. On the other hand, jealousy is the emotion one experiences when someone thinks they are about to be replaced by the flavor of the month, leading to apprehension and fear. This is where you find Cain within the pages of Genesis 4.
Cain was the prized baby, the first born boy on planet earth. As an infant, his mom and dad waited on every cry and whimper. Like modern parents returning from a hospital, both are clueless, not sure how to handle or respond to this new creature who has entered their life. As for Cain, every thing was peachy keen until Abel arrived onto the scene. Cain was now longer the main attraction, forced to share time with his baby brother. If this wasn’t enough to bear, Cain realized how much harder farming was compared to shepherding, Abel’s occupation. Then, God had to go and play favorites, rejecting Cain’s weak offering, but extremely pleased by the fat portions brought by Abel, Genesis 4:3-5. These ingredients conceived the envy of Cain.
Before I studied the definitions of envy and jealousy, I never imagined either of these 2 acts of the sinful nature, Galatians 5:19-21, stirred inside my heart. However, as I read the numerous definitions and examples of each on the internet, I saw signs of the envy of Cain within me. Whether you are a coach, teacher or hard working employee, there is always someone quicker, smarter and more appealing than you. Thus, you need to learn to be content in the areas God has gifted you. If you don’t, you are giving the devil an open door for the envy of Cain to reside within you, Ephesians 4:25-27. Therefore, lean on the the grace, forgiveness and mercy of God to purge yourself of any traces of envy or jealousy.
by Jay Mankus