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Don't Covet Your Neighbor's Lottery Win

Envy Witness Temptation

Source: “Why Lottery Winners Make Dangerous Neighbors,” by Kelley Holland, Time, Aug 18, 2017

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-11-08

Scripture: Romans 11:14

Author: Illustration Exchange


Kelley Holland, with Time, reports:

If you don't win (and we all know almost everyone who plays the lottery loses), you might think the next best thing would be for someone in your community to hit it big.

After all, a sudden windfall would probably lead the winner to throw a party for the neighbors, indulge in fancy landscaping, or splurge on other things that make the neighborhood a nicer place.

The idea makes sense – but there's a downside to living near a lottery winner. Neighbors of lottery winners are significantly more likely to declare bankruptcy within a few years of the big event than are people living near ordinary folks, according to a 2016 study. The study focused on lottery winners in Canada, and found that every $1,000 increase in lottery winnings raises the risk of bankruptcy among the neighbors by roughly 2.4 percent.

Why the negative ripple effect? When people win the lottery, they often spend some of the money on envy-inducing goodies like new cars, boats, and supersized TVs. Researchers say that these lifestyle upgrades then tempt their neighbors to boost their own spending on visible markers of prosperity, even though they haven’t had a sudden run of financial luck. Down the road, that leads to more bankruptcies, said Sumit Agarwal, a professor of finance at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and an author of the study.


Those who are rich in possessions induce others to lust after those possessions.  Might not the same be said of spiritual riches? Do others see your wealth in Christ? Is it attractive, compelling them to want to “get some of that?”

“I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry, in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them” (Romans 11:14). 

Preacher Wars

Respect Humility Envy

Source: The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, p. 632

Contributed By: Chris Horton | Date Posted: 2015-04-27

Scripture: Philippians 1:18

Author: Warren W. Wiersbe


It is a mater of historic record that the two great English evangelists John Wesley and George Whitefield, disagreed on doctrinal matters.  Both of them were very successful, preaching to the thousands of people and seeing multitudes come to Christ.  It is reported that somebody asked Wesley if he expected to see Whitefield in heaven, and the evangelist replied, "No, I do not."   "Then you do not think Whitefield is a converted man?"  "Of course he is a converted man," Wesley said.  "But I do not expect to see him in heaven because he will be so close to the throne of God and I so far away that I will not be able to see him.  Wesley did not have envy in his heart.


How often we tend to demonize those whith whom we disagree, not out a love for Christ and His Word, but out of our own pride and insistence on our opinions and interpretations.  As demonstrated by great men of the past, it is possible to defend our positions on doctrine but to do it in humility and in love.

"But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice" (Philippians 1:18).

Charlie Pride's Pride and Envy

Pride Envy Self-righteousness

Source: “1975 Charlie Rich lights John Denver's award ballot on fire LIVE!” posted on, retrieved 4/17/15

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-18

Scripture: Philippians 2:3 ; Proverbs 16:18

Author: Illustration Exchange


In 1975, country music was transitioning, as one blogger aptly described, from “the old Nashville style of slicked back hair, rhinestone suits, and songs about trains, trucks, and cheating” to a new style “characterized by shaggy hair, bell-bottom jeans, and songs about sunshine, love, and peaceful easy feelings.”

Right in the middle of the transition chaos was country/folk music superstar John Denver. John’s folksy, down-to-earth style was sharply juxtaposed against the likes of reigning country music royalty like Charlie Pride.

Denver was wildly successful on the country music charts, achieving several platinum album—a feat unattained by other country music artists of the day. He was also able to successful crossover to top the charts of pop music, as well. It’s no wonder that there was a great deal of jealousy and animosity toward Denver and his new style of country music. Many in the ranks believed that he was unworthy of such success in Nashville and beyond.

When it came time for the 1975 Country Music Awards, Charlie Pride was asked to present the award for Entertainer of the Year (an award he himself had won just the year prior). Upon opening the envelope and seeing the name John Denver inside, Pride promptly proceeded to pull out a cigarette lighter and send the results up in flames. Facetiously, he announced, “The winner is my friend Mr. John Denver.”

Though many country artists agreed with Pride’s position, many fans did not. Pride’s record sales began to falter, generating only one top ten hit the following year. He would go on to have other top ten hits here and there, but his career was never the same.

Click the link to source above to view a video clip of the award presentation.


Wow. Is this where we get the saying, “Pride comes before a fall?” No, actually, that would come from Scripture—“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).

In this case it was a pride which gave birth to envy.

Webster's Dictionary defines “envy” as “painful or resentful awareness of the advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage,” while The Oxford English Dictionary, in one of its definitions, takes it a step further saying, “the feeling of mortification and ill-will occasioned by the contemplation of superior advantages possessed by another.”

Don’t allow your good will toward another’s success to go up in flames.

“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).

Gift Envy

Envy Servanthood Spiritual Gifts

Contributed By: Doug Sexton | Date Posted: 2014-01-03

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:7

Author: Doug Sexton/Illustration Exchange

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Greener Grass

Envy Contentment Spiritual Health

Contributed By: Ron Henson | Date Posted: 2012-07-18

Scripture: Exodus 20:17 ; Mark 8:36

Author: Ron Henson

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Low-grade Envy

Envy Criticism Judging

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-05-10

Scripture: Matthew 7:1 ; Romans 14:10

Author: unknown

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Despising Another Man's Blessing

Envy Greatness Servanthood

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-02-07

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 10:24

Author: Dr. Leslie Flynn

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Resenting God's Generosity

Envy Stewardship God's Care

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-02-06

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 4:2

Author: Dr. Erwin Lutzer

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Distracted And Delayed By Baggage

Greed Materialism Influence

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2019-05-11

Scripture: Luke 12:15 ; 1 Timothy 6:9

Author: Neal Pollard

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The Dark Side Of Winning The Lottery

Temptation Betrayal Jealousy

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-02-02

Scripture: 1 Timothy 6:10

Author: Illustration Exchange

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