Envy is a feeling of discontentment, pain and sadness over the qualities of the other person. It is a negative feeling that people have because of what you do or possess. There is nowhere you cannot find this negative problem.
It is highly apparent in our families, places of work, friends, schoolmates etc. When people see something different in you, and there is a temptation to feel resentful or bitter about it or about what you do, then envy is at work.
Jesus and His People.
On Sunday in the gospel of Mark 1:21-28, we witnessed the presence of Jesus at Capernaum, where He delivered a man with an unclean spirit. The people were amazed at what happened. Even the demon proclaimed Him as the Holy One of God.
Today, Jesus takes His ministry to His hometown. The same thing that happened in Mark 1:21-28 also happened again but in a different shape. The people were amazed at His teachings, but instead of praising God for the gift they encountered in one of their own, they were busy questioning the source of His wisdom and power. They talk about His family instead of praising God for what happened.
At Capernaum, their amazement led to more proclamations about Him, as people began to talk about Him. His fame grew over Galilee. But today, instead of proclaiming Jesus or glorifying God, His people took offence at Him. Maybe they wondered how a wretched son of a carpenter could possess such wisdom, even to the extent of coming out boldly to talk to them. Such attitudes are always prevalent among us today.
The people were bitter and took offence at Jesus when He did nothing to them. The only offence He committed is that He is teaching them.
The Times People Envy You.
There are also times people envy you for nothing. There are times you may be busy doing your work without knowing you are offending people already. Sometimes you try to fulfil your mission and do your function without knowing you are creating envy for others somewhere. This is everywhere. This may affect your motivation and willingness to work.
The people felt very sad today because they saw the son of a carpenter speaking to them with wisdom. Because of this attitude, Jesus did not work any mighty deed apart from healing a few people. Because He was surprised at their lack of faith in Him.
Jesus was surprised maybe because this particular attitude is coming from His people. In the same vein, the people who may not be happy with you may be those you least expect and the people you share everything with.
You may be surprised it comes from those you respect at all costs, even the people you decide to help from your heart. When this happens, let us emulate Jesus’ character.
How Jesus deals with It.
1. Jesus did not take offence with any, rather He decided to find the root cause of why they exhibited such an attitude. Jesus points to over-familiarity as the reason. When people envy you, it does not necessarily mean they hate you.
Making an offence with them will bring more problems than good. Try and find the reason they are doing what they do. It may be because they have problems with an inferiority complex and lack of self-esteem. It may also be because they are passing through a lot of challenges. So, seeing you where they have been struggling to be, may bring envy.
2. In this gospel, we can see there that Jesus was silent. Silence can be a powerful instrument at this time. When a person says or does something that may hurt you, don’t join the queue. Always smile it over. You know yourself more than anyone.
Do not let what people say or do always affect your confidence or keep you worried. They may expect a reaction from you but smiling back and keeping silent always throws people off balance. Anyone who knows his worth does not need to compete.
3. Despite that Jesus was astonished, it didn’t stop Him from healing some sick people who came to Him so that He may lay hands on them.
So, Never allow whatever anyone does to you or says about you, to stop you from doing good. If you cannot, at least do it for the sake of God.
4. This ill-treatment today came from those who are related to Jesus, the people of His town. They are supposed to be happy with Jesus for showing a high level of wisdom of power, but instead, they envy Him.
Therefore, do not be surprised that those who are most envious of you are those people you call your own. Instead of responding to them with harsh words, Jesus still worked for them.
Use goodness and silence your haters. The more they talk, the more you do. Never stop because of what they think or do to you. If you stop, they will not do what you are doing too.
May God bless you and give us the grace to live together in harmony. May He also abide with you today. Amen.