For the leader: This would be a great week to play a game together! A game is  an easy way to allow people’s competitive nature to shine though (or their lack thereof!) ! You could play a quick game of Head’s Up on your phone, or Catch Phrase, or even something like corn hole if you have time! Whatever you choose, a game is the perfect segway into today’s questions! Have fun celebrating how we are each wired differently with competition.

Envy takes competition to the next level! It causes us to compare and compete with others in an unhealthy way. It brings arrogance when we’re winning and discouragement when we’re not. It robs us of contentment and causes us to feel like—as an ancient king put it—we’re chasing after the wind. But envy doesn’t have to be the boss.

Start Talking

  • Do you consider yourself to be naturally competitive? 
  • Whether you answered yes or no to the first question, we are all often competitive in some areas of life. What areas of life do you find you are most/least competitive? Why do you think this is?

What About You?

  • What would you say is the difference between competition and envy?
  • When have you allowed competition to turn into envy? How did this affect you?
  • In what areas are you most inclined to be envious of others?
  • Are there certain things or habits that feed envy in you? I.e. social media, watching certain shows, hanging out with certain friends or family, work. 
  • Are you competing internally with anyone (e.g., a parent, sibling, or friend)? How is that envy affecting you and your relationships?

Look It Up

Read Ecclesiastes 4:4–8

What stands out to you?

  • King Solomon writes that envy is like chasing after the wind. What does he mean by this? What are some ways this comparison is true?
  • How would you answer the questions that the person in verse 8 asks himself?
    • For whom am I toiling? (Who am I Really Trying To Prove Something To?)
    • Why am I depriving myself of enjoyment? (Why am I letting envy rob me of the satisfaction of what is already happening in my life?)

What Now?

  • Has this conversation shown you anything new about envy in your life?
  • What do you normally do to decrease envy in your life?
  • In an effort to decrease envy, who is someone you can celebrate, congratulate, or thank? How could doing that help?

Moving Forward

To prepare yourself for when envy begins to emerge, memorize any or all of these statements.

  • Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.(Ecclesiastes 4:6)
  • A heart at peace gives life the body ,but envy rots the bones.(Proverbs 14:30)
  • “Envy, you’re not the boss of me. I Will Not Chase After The Wind.”

Additional Resources

4 Ways to Conquer Your Envy by The Gospel Coalition (Article)
Seven Strategies for Fighting Envy by Desiring God (Article)
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown (Book)
Living Beyond Your Feelings: Controlling Your Feelings So They Don’t Control You by Joyce Meyer (Book)
Enemies of the Heart by Andy Stanley (Book)
Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruits of the Spirit by Beth Moore (Bible Study Book)