Sunday, November 10, 2013


If only...   I wish...  Not fair....          OH NO! Stinkin' thinkin' crops up once again!

I have never liked it when I feel the pangs of envy. Often envy stems from a sense that someone else has it better than I do. My feelings of envy are not in the area of material possessions, even though I can wish for things like nice homes and beautiful furnishings, but that’s not where it gets me in trouble. My feelings of envy come out of a negative place of comparing myself to others in my accomplishments (or lack there-of), being envious of others when I see them achieve in areas in which I have wished to be successful. 

Like the person who gets the position I have hoped for, or gets the recognition I've never received. The people I watch who receive the promotions or get the jobs or other opportunities of which I have hoped would come my way. The writing contests and book turn-downs can feed this monster called envy--when I see others achieving while I watch on the sidelines after doing the hard work to try to get there. I've wasted a lot of time on empty hopes and dreams. Even those who have successful marriages with a mate who has remained by their side through the test of time can make me feel envious. I don't want to be envious...but it has a way of creeping up on a person.

Lately, envy has presented itself once again. A friend of mine who was just recently widowed is already in a loving caring Christ-centered relationship. My first thought was, “Why her?” “She had her turn.” See, how unloving and unkind the thoughts of envy can produce in me? Really, truth be told, I am happy for her. It’s just I get unhappy for me! In another area, I had a wish, the dream was to write a book that would sell and bless and lead to a ministry to help hurting people. It hasn't happened. I wrote and published the book but it hasn't made it to many readers. This makes me feel disappointed, because I know it is a book that has a message of healing grace. I know it's in God's plan to do with as He wills. Yet. ... Ironically, I became a  part of a team promoting a book for someone else so I can help her realize her dream for ministry. Truthfully, I am pleased for her. I am glad it is going well. It's a great experience and I've been in contact with many amazing women. But once in awhile it makes me feel sad of heart. 

I can feel envy even when I know I shouldn't feel that way. It can bite me. Every part of  this woman's ministry is similar to the ministry I had imagined for myself. In one week of sales, her book has already climbed the charts to a bestseller ranking on Amazon. Envy reared its ugly head again when I checked up on it. I felt wistful and wishful. Sour grapes anybody? Yet, I am happy for her and glad that she is following her heart and has put in the hard work, and I know it is exhausting, to develop a team of caring women to help her move this book forward. Honestly, I believe God has given her a passion for reaching others with a message of hope and healing. I know her heart is in the right place. I know without a doubt that this is God’s ministry for her. Again, I am happy for her, I really am. I bet in the ministry there is pastoral or church envy or the opposite, pastoral or church pride. But, I struggle with sadness for me. Too bad. I shouldn't be sad. I should be glad that God is at work in someone else's ministry. When I think on it that way, I do become glad. It is the grace of God which moves and directs all our paths. I should be good with that. 

The cool thing is, and there is a cool thing, is that I can get out of this funk by looking to my Savior. Who, is receiving "success," is not something I can determine. Only God knows the heart and the work he is doing. And, that makes it okay with me when others do well. I am a dreamer and a believer in the possible positive. Kingdom thinking is what is needed. It's not about others, their performance and successes. If I am where God wants me to be, doing what He wants me to do, and letting Him run my life. We're good. Real good. Knowing this frees me up.

I have matured enough to recognize envy when it knocks on my door. I don't want to sin in my thoughts. I want to be so close to God that none of that matters. I know better than to let it get the best of me. As soon as I see envy in myself I address it and talk horse-sense to myself. Then I give God the glory for what He is doing, even when it is for someone else. Envy is self-focused. I don’t want to be that way. It is my desire to be God-focused and Christ-centered.

I posted on Facebook about my recent bout with envy:
“I had an attack of envy today. I was thinking something wasn't fair because I am not as fortunate as this other person in a certain area. I just hate it when I feel envious of someone else. I don't want to feel that way. At least I realized it for what it was,,,and called it out. "Girl friend, you're feeling envious. Knock it off!" Some things jump up and grab us. We have to dismantle them in a hurry.”
A Friend of mine responded to my comment:
“You might be envious of a few but MANY are envious of you. You are a tough act to follow girl!”
Which just goes to show how silly it is to envy others when in reality, others are envious of us! I looked it up in the Bible, and yes, there are verses that speak of envy. To chase envy away, it helps to live close to the Lord. I think of Oswald Chambers. He said that we should be pleased and content even if we are put in the meanest place on earth. Our hope is Christ, our reward is in Him as well. That puts it all into perspective. If we live in a right relationship with God there will not be room for envy to take over. We can face it and dismantle it and then go on with life, letting God do what He is going to do and then to be content with it. Let it go, let it go, let it go, as the old song says.

Be happy today. 
Be grateful for the little things. 
Look for positives to celebrate. 
Be thankful for your eyesight, hearing, senses, and provisions. 
Recognize all who love you and care about your needs. 
Smile at people as you shop in the grocery store. 
Be friendly. 
Be kind. 
Be caring. 
Love the Lord.

A good way to chase the envies away. Yes!

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