Envy, greed, jealousy shrink souls and minds

There’s a fable about an eagle that could fly faster than another eagle.

There’s a fable about an eagle that could fly faster than another eagle. That infuriated the slower eagle. One day, the troubled eagle met an archer. He said, “I want you to shoot that eagle down!”

The man replied that he would, if he had some eagle feathers to put into his arrows. The jealous eagle immediately produced a wing feather. The arrow was released, but the rival eagle was just out of range.

The envious eagle pulled out more feathers for the archer, but he kept missing. When he’d removed so many feathers that he could no longer fly, the hunter turned on him and killed him. The eagle’s jealousy not only divested him of his mobility, but it ultimately led to his demise.

The legend reminds me of 1 Kings 21, which contains the distressing account of King Ahab and his inappropriate acquisition of a vineyard owned by Naboth. Ahab’s attitudes and actions in this passage provide a prime example of the unholy trinity of envy, greed and jealousy.

These words are often used interchangeably, but while they are similar and occasionally overlap, they’re not really synonyms. Generally speaking, envy is wanting what someone else has, greed is wanting more and more and jealousy is possessiveness coupled with fear that what has been gained might be lost or taken.

All three (independently or together) are capable of narrowing the mind, enslaving the thoughts and shrinking the soul.

But back to Ahab. I would encourage you to locate the passage and read it, as space does not permit its inclusion here. However, the following is a condensed version of what transpired.

As king, Ahab had all that any man could desire. But he coveted Naboth’s land, so he offered to buy or trade another property for it. Naboth had deep family roots in the land and he didn’t want to sell. Ahab, following a season of sulking, allowed for his evil wife Jezebel to contrive and employ a plan that led to Naboth’s execution … and Ahab got his vineyard.

However, God takes note of such events. God’s prophet Elijah appeared in the kings court and boldly condemned their evil deeds. Allegorically speaking, he told them that they were both out of feathers and that the Heavenly Archer had them in His sights.

Envy, greed and jealousy (exactly opposite of faith, hope and contentment) are indicative of a belief that this life is all that we get … so we must grab all that we can, while we can and grasp it tightly.

To conclude, Proverbs 28:25 begins by saying, “A greedy man stirs up strife,” but then in happy contrast states, “The one who trusts in the Lord will be enriched.”

Pastor Ross Helgeton is senior pastor at Erskine Evangelical Free Church.

Just Posted

Stettler woman facing 67 fraud-related charges appears with co-accused

Crown likely proceeding with more serious charge of indictable offence

Stettler court beat

Prisoners appear via CCTV from Edmonton, Calgary, Medicine Hat and Red Deer Remand Centres

Stettler upgrading sound system at a community hall

Will improve the clarity and boom factor, says Coun. Wayne Smith

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Ponoka Traffic Unit investigate scooter incident

A motorcyclist appears to have lost control of her Suzuki scooter on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Wildfire smoke blankets B.C. and Alberta, prompting air quality advisories

About 25 new wildfires were sparked between Monday morning and midday Tuesday

Stettler woman facing 67 fraud-related charges appears with co-accused

Crown likely proceeding with more serious charge of indictable offence

Wetaskiwin Co-op robbed of laser tool, propane torch

Wetaskiwin RCMP attempting to identify two individuals involved in numerous thefts

Judge OKs Weinstein suit, cites casting couch’s history

Actress Kadian Noble can sue disgraced Hollywood mogul for violating sex trafficking laws

Employers to raise salaries 2.6% on average next year: report

Firm points to factors such possibility of more trade protectionism, rising interest rates

Most Read


Weekly delivery plus unlimited digital access for $50.40 for 52 issues (must live within 95 kilometers of Stettler) Unlimited Digital Access for one year for $50.40 Prefer to have us call you? Click here and we’ll get back to you within one business day.