Who can forget the amazing story of the Cheerleader Mum who hired a hit man to murder her daughter's competitor's Mother?
Wanda Holloway's claim to fame blew the newspaper stands off their feet with this amazing story of envy, jealousy and malevolence.
In 1991 according to Wikipedia "Holloways daughter, Shanna was beaten out for a spot on the Johnson High School's Cheerleading squad by Amber Heath, age fourteen."
That was the start of a chain of events that culminated in Wanda hiring the hit man to murder Amber's mother and subsequently being sentenced to ten years jail.
She believed that Amber would be so devastated by her Mothers death she would drop out of the team thus awarding the top spot to her own daughter Shanna. And why? All because of envy.
So what causes envy?
Envy is an emotion and like most other emotions can be traced back to some other underlying problems like desiring to be better than others or having an unhealthy ambition to better yourself or your family at the expense of everything or anything else.
Sometimes looking at other peoples success can make us bitter and angry. We look at the gifts they possess and compare them with what we have and what is happening in our lives - The talents of their children for example compared with our own can make us resent every little success they have.
Envy can destroy long time friendships and even families - I personally know of a deep friendship that was torn apart simply because one family's child succeeded and achieved in an audition and the other missed out - amazing but true. One family couldn't come to terms with the other's success and the hurt was just too much to bear, envy had taken it's devastating toll.
Envy gets us focusing on what we can't have rather on the amazing reality of what we do have.
This unique life has been freely provided to us by God, yet envy of others or things can put our focus on everything and anything that we believe we have every right to. Actually when we analyse it - we don't have rights to anything at all - we have responsibility to pursue goals BUT they are not rights.
On saying that I do appreciate how hard it must be to yearn for something so badly and see others attaining what you want with all your heart and yet you are unable to achieve what they have. It takes courage and peace of heart to be genuinely happy for that person and to be content.
Its so so difficult for an envious person to share the joys of others especially when they see them getting or achieving what they so desperately want.
So how do we overcome envy? To be perfectly honest, envy is often an unwelcome side of my personality and a side of me that I know is wrong and one in which God does not want me to have in my life. I would like to share just some of the ways God has helped me to overcome this nasty sneaky little sin.
Firstly read Galatians 5: 16-26 and you will find that envy along with a host of others is a product of our human sinful nature - This nature has to be controlled by God's nature - The Holy Spirit.
Giving our lives fully to Christ is the very starting point in overcoming our sinful nature - believe me you can never do it on your own - There is no "I did it my way" in overcoming sin - no matter what that sin is.
Recognise envy for what it is - name it - "I'm envious" - say it aloud if you have to. Naming it blows its cover - you have recognised how you are feeling now grab hold of God's promise.
Once we have recognised it for what it is - ask God to eradicate these thoughts from your life and especially in the situation you are facing right now. Ask His forgiveness and once you have accepted that you can start anew with Jesus.
Carting envy around with us makes us bitter and will definitely drive a huge wedge between God and us. God and His promises are vital for us to grow spiritually and become mature in Him. Mature enough to banish envy from our lives for good.
Also accept the fact that God made you unique; thank Him for that fact; He created us for praise - so praise Him especially in times when envy creeps up on you unexpectantly (and believe me Satan will make sure it does).
Remember selfishness is the mother of envy. If we can get our minds off what we want and start thanking God for what we have and stop comparing ourselves to others - miracles will occur.
God so wants us to have contented and fulfilling lives in Him and the only way we can do that is to have God-focused lives - with new goals and new standards.
With the Holy Spirit indwelling us we can move from the ordinary into the extraordinary - putting aside anything, including ourselves, and moving to a much higher life with God.