The Characteristics of Envy and Jealousy

  • Envy–burning desire to have–coveting what another has: empty hands that crave to be filled; usually involves two people.
  • Jealousy–burning desire to keep; possessive of what one has; full hands that fear being emptied; usually involves three people


What we need to discuss now is what the “surface symptoms” are. This portion of the study will help in identifying any personal characteristics we may possess.



“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” (Proverbs 14:30)

Encourages envy in others: boastful

Needs to put down others: critical

Vengeful feelings toward others: resentful

Internal pain over the success of others: begrudging

Overachiever: competitive

Unfulfilled desires or cravings: greedy

Self-exalting: demanding


“Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?” (Proverbs 27:4)

Judgmental of others: performance-based acceptance

Exclusive expectations: not allowing outside relationships

Anxiety/anger over potential loss: threat of losing relationship

Leaning on the identity of others: emotionally dependent

Overly possessive of others: controlling spirit

Unable to trust God: insecure

Suspicious of the normal behavior of others: distrustful



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