Remember learning to share as kids? It wasn’t always easy. A friend would come over for a play date and start playing with our toys. Possessive monsters of jealousy emerged from our hearts – even if our friend was playing with our least favorite toy that we hadn’t touched in months. Suddenly, every toy was our favorite to the tune of “Mine!”
“A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.” Proverbs 14:30
Sometimes I think possessive monsters of jealousy emerge even in adulthood. We’ve just grown too sophisticated to grab our toys out of our friends’ hands. Instead, we’ve gotten pretty good at camouflaging our inner monsters.
• We envy that one creative DIY friend. You know, the one who can turn an ugly old boot into the cutest potted plant. Seriously, she can come decorate my house any day…
• We envy the opportunities that others have been given. Satisfying jobs, travel, experiences, honors – good things just seem to fall into some people’s laps while we really have to work hard for them…only they never come.
• We envy the mom who feeds her kids only organic, healthy food that she grew in her own garden and who never plops her kids in front of the TV because they’re always on some fun, educational family outing. (Where does she get her energy???)
• We envy someone else’s paycheck while we clip coupons and pray that this month’s income outweighs our expenses. The stress is real as we cling to God’s promise to provide.
• We envy the family with the “perfect” children who follow the Lord. What did we do wrong that our children chose another lifestyle? That’s not how they were taught to live! Our knees ache from all the time spent pouring our hearts out to God.
• And envy seems to worsen when we see people who seem to be so content and happy with their lot in life while we’re still searching for God’s purpose for us.
When it comes down to it, do we really begrudge our friends – or anyone, really – the good things that happen to them? Would we really want to take those good things away and give them to ourselves? Of course not!
“But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.” James 3:14
Instead of shouting, “Mine!” when we see something we want for ourselves, our possessive monsters of jealousy plant a little seed of bitterness. Wallowing in our envy waters the seed so that it sprouts and grows tall, casting a shadow over our hearts. Sisters in Christ, let’s borrow “gardening mom’s” shovel and dig that weedy seed out of our lives!
“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”
We can be grateful for the ways God has blessed others. And remember, no one is perfect. We all have our struggles that may not be immediately apparent to observers. But when we’re really struggling with the possessive monster of jealousy, we can count the blessings in our own lives. Focusing on how God has provided for us will help us re-center our hearts in contentment.
Do you have any tips on battling the possessive monster of jealousy? Share them in the comments below!
“Walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work,and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.” Colossians 1:10-11
Family Radio Staff