Reflections on Ecclesiastes - Part 8
Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man's envy of his neighbour (Ecc. 4:4).Envy is desiring something because somebody else has it. At first it would seem that we don't envy that much, but then if you ask, why do we have so much stuff we don't need? It becomes clear that envy is definitely part of our culture. We need to be careful in distinguishing our wants from our desires. Material possessions don't bring happiness, which we all know, but we often live as if it does. It doesn't just end at material possessions, we often envy the praise that is given to someone else. We need to work because we enjoy it, not because we want something that we don't have.