I have a friend that everything comes easy for. Doesn’t everyone? That one girl who just (looks like she) breezes through life, hair that requires no blowdrying, a figure that doesn’t require calorie restriction, kids who require no bribing or threatening, a confidence that doesn’t require herculean effort and all the things/ opportunities/ experiences/ achievements I wish where a part of my life. Can you relate?
We have never been faced with more temptation to envy others than today! We know we shouldn’t give in to it, that God isn’t cool with it and that entertaining envy does not your best life make. And yet, we are not as on our guard as we should be as we assess (judge?) the lives of others and we harbour and hide thousands of tiny resentments towards others and ultimately towards God about the comparisons we are inevitably drawing. Because that is what envy is, “a feeling of discontentment and resentment aroused by another’s desirable possessions or qualities, accompanied by a strong desire to have them for oneself”. Can anyone say: “I want what she’s having!”?
I struggle with this. So much so that I had to work out some anchor points for my own weary soul that I would easily remember when my green-eyed frenemy rears its head! In those moments I need some basic tools to steady my heart and direct my thoughts.
See more clearly what you hold dearly
When you clicked to open this blog you had a particular person in mind. Someone you experience a funny twinge in your heart over. I know you don’t want to call it envy, but that is straight up what it is. I think sometimes we walk with something below the surface for so long and we never call it into the light, name it and shame it. And that is why it continues to hold sway and privately shame us.
Once we get honest about envy, the upside is that we are taking an opportunity to look with greater honesty at the condition of our hearts. Envy can bring to the surface that which we would’ve otherwise kept hidden from ourselves and God, deep desires, hopes, dreams, wishes, beliefs that maybe we’ve never even been brave enough to verbalise.
What we envy is a revelation of what we covet.
When envy’s at the table, love is not able
“ Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor.” 1 Cor 14 v 4- 5 TPT
When we see her as God’s creation, envy can turn to admiration
Pray for that person. It’s very hard to harden your heart towards someone you are praying for.
- Actively be happy for the women in your tribe. Hand out likes, hugs, compliments and support like there is more than enough to go around, because there is. Do it like it’s your job! Because it is!
Ask God to help you see them the way He sees them. He calls us to “ regard no one in the flesh” (2 Cor 5 v 16). Holding on to God’s picture of her, will help you see her through the lens of grace.
“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit, let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” Gal 5 v 25 – 26
God is faithful, focus on being grateful
- Keep trusting God
- Ponder His Faithfulness
- Fix your heart on His Promises
- Get validation and approval from Him
- Be honest with Him in prayer (ummm, see point1)
Own your space, run your race
Devotion to your calling is a weapon against the distraction of envy