By Lynne Keating




“Or are you envious because I am generous?’
~ Matthew 20:15b


A Time to Uproot

Our instructor announced, “We’re going to study the Seven Capital Sins.” Glancing over the list, I decided I had 2. Okay, 3. Each week, we studied one sin and were given Scriptures for meditation on that particular sin. Silently, over time, I realized I had each one of the Capital Sins – until we got to envy. 

No matter how I tried, I could not identify envy in my life. I enjoy the success and blessings of others. Their happiness spills over onto me, and I see God working! Envious? No.

Then we delved into the “symptoms” of envy. The list included feelings of disgust and repulsion. What? 

Sure, I’m repulsed by child abusers. Yes, I’m disgusted by violent oppressors. But envious? I don’t want to be anything like them!

A Time to Weep

We were sent home to meditate on Matthew 20:15. In the silence, contemplating the familiar text, tears formed; my heart ached. It seemed that Jesus was asking me personally: “Are you envious because I am generous?”  

More tears. “Oh my God,” I whispered, “I AM envious!” I realized that God loves abusers and oppressors just as much as He loves me. He leaves the ninety-nine behind to gently carry them back. I wanted to be loved more. I wanted my prayers to be heard first, to carry more weight! There it was – Envy!  

A Time to Love

Everything changed after this. Now I can pray sincerely for those who hurt or oppress – even when they don’t want my prayers – because “It is not the will of my Father that any of these little ones be lost” (Matthew 18:14). I now see “little ones” as any who are lost, and a great interior heaviness has lifted.

Aha! So this is how it feels to love your enemies!    


Heavenly Father, I want to learn to love as you love. Help me to pray according to the desires of your heart.

Call to Action

Consider offering a prayer today for a person or persons who cause you to feel angry, upset, or unworthy.


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