13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.
“Envy” here is jealousy that has its base in contentious rivalry. This person grudges others any success or satisfaction for what they do. It looks with jealousy on the accomplishments of others. This is a refusal to give blessings to others. “Envy” will wreck relationships (1 Co 3:3; 2 Co 12:20).
“Envy” divides the church into rival parties. The Corinthian church was divided into the parties of Paul, Cephas, Apollos, and even Christ.
Both sins of “strife” and “envy” here are the determination to have one’s own way.
Christians are to walk in a manner that is according to their high station in life.
If “strife” was a contentious attitude toward others, “envy” is the outcome of that attitude. “Envy” grudges what others have. The person with this sin hates to see others achieve anything. He grieves for self where he is not successful by comparison with others; it is a victim mentality.
A person with envy tries to assert an attitude of dominance toward others. There is no greater test of our attitudes than how we react to the achievements of others. If watching others succeed moves us to jealousy, then it shows how small our soul really is. A bitter and envious resentment toward others is the work of the flesh. Ill will lies at the basis of this sin.
Envy might originate from insecurity or a sense of inferiority by comparing oneself with others. This sin occurs when a person perceives himself as inferior to another. There is a sadness that he is not as good as someone else. He sees others as rivals rather than friends.
If envy becomes a major feature of a person’s life, then envy becomes constant, dreary calculations of how others are better than he is. He constantly wishes harm to others and desires to usurp them. All this comes from a feeling of being wronged.
“Envy” is the sin that splits the church. It makes enemies in the church. This sin thinks more in terms of party and its slogans than in bringing unity to the church because of Christ. Any time this happens, it dethrones Christ as Lord from the church. It exalts personal preference and tastes that put others against them.