5 Keys to Overcoming Envy

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Envy is something that everyone struggles with. We’re all on the same playing field, living in a fallen world on the journey of sanctification.

This fact in and of itself should give you the confidence to face this challenge. Feeling like you’re the only one who struggles not only keeps you away from people (because you feel like you’re worse than them) but can also keep you away from the Lord.

The first step in dealing with envy is admitting that it’s there. Secondly, acknowledging that God knows and isn’t shocked or disappointed in you because of it. The third step is having a relentless prayer life against this issue.

Like any sin in our lives, we have to recognize that we’re not fighting the battle alone.

There is One who is more powerful than any form of envy.

Not only is He more powerful, but He dwells within us as believers, so His power is available in the battle.

The Five Keys

1. Repent: Start by asking the Lord to forgive you. Like I said earlier, He knows it’s there. Confess it and repent.

2. Declare: Speak out the truth. Pray prayers like, “God, you are seated high above any form of darkness, and I pull upon that power right now because I’m seated with you in heavenly places. You are greater than this envy in my heart.”

3. Thank: Thank God for the victory. “God, thank you that you are more powerful than my envy. Thank you that in You I have the victory over this.”

4. Pray: Ask the Lord to show you key verses and promises in the Word and speak them back to Him. A few of my favorites are Philippians 2:5-8 and Matthew 5:43-48.

5. Bless: Literally pray for God to give them more money, more talent, and more anointing. It’s really helpful if you pray some specific Bible verses of blessings over them as well. A few of my favorites are 2 Corinthians 9:8 and Philippians 4:19.

Repeat and Repeat Again

Most of the time this isn’t a one-time, five-step event. It can be a process.

I remember one time I was really struggling with envy towards someone. I spent a whole evening in prayer doing these steps. After a few hours of prayer, I felt such freedom in my heart. I was so relieved and went to bed that night feeling amazing.

But the next day when that person came walking into the room, suddenly in a moment, all the feelings came flooding back to my heart with a vengeance. I was so frustrated! But I only had two choices. Embrace the negative thoughts and live in that place (never a good option), or pray again. I eventually come to a place of freedom, but it took time.

Instead of being frustrated by your issues, allow yourself to see the benefits of them: they make you run to your Heavenly Father. And God is so good, so kind, and He helps us in our weakness.

Freedom is Possible

I want to leave you with this. Freedom in this area is possible. You may have had a nagging issue of envy in your heart towards someone for years. But I promise, as you consistently do these five things and come to Jesus for help, you will find freedom.


Justin Rizzo

Justin is currently a full-time staff member at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri, where he serves as a worship leader, songwriter, composer, and author. In addition, he travels extensively to lead worship and speak at conferences and events around the world.

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  • markmeed says:

    Joyce Meyer once observed (and I am paraphrasing) that you shouldn’t envy what someone else has unless you are willing to do what they did to get it. My brother in law is a surgeon who makes orders of magnitude more money than I do. He also dedicated decades of his life to study and practical training, most of it in relative poverty. He made his choices, I made mine.

    Life isn’t fair. In over 40 years of playing bars and churches I met countless people who played or sang better than I did. While some were clearly more talented if I was honest with myself I had to admit that the majority of them just worked harder than I did. Recognizing that prompted a better work ethic. Curiously, I found the harder I worked the less envious I became.

    Envy in many cases is less about what someone else has that what you haven’t. Often, dealing with that last part — through honest reflection, repentance, and some times remediation — is the key to killing envy.

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