Why is it that we, as human beings, are rarely happy with what we have? We always seem to want something more, especially if we see that someone else has it. Keeping up with the Joneses has been a game played since the beginning of time, and yet we don’t seem to have learned much from it as a whole. When this “deadly” sin was first introduced, the church was engaging in all kinds of envy – the desire for wealth of other nations, land that had been previously unavailable, and the souls of heathens to increase the holy sea. The Vatican didn’t attain all of that wealth because they didn’t envy others for having it, and many times it was attained through avarice and the careful misuse of other sins (That Shalt Not Kill comes to mind).
The other side is this: when we want something, we need to force ourselves to examine the cost and consequences of recieving it. The ultimate goal is to want only what we absolutely need to survive and be reasonably comfortable. I could have a better job and make more money, but I would have to give up a lot of time with my husband and son. A larger house means larger bills, and what I already have is more than adaquate. We complicate our lives by envying those who have more than we need, and waste precious time in the struggle to attain them. But envy can be a positive force as well. Envying those with better grades forces us to study harder. Coveting the health and vitality of someone older than us forces us to re-examine our own choices in food and exercise regimines.