I must admit, it has been a struggle for me. All my life I have to beat down this green eyed monster and it’s sidekick, envy.
Part of it had to do with eating disorders. Struggling with food, set me up for a low self esteem and in return a low self esteem pushed me deeper into a food struggle. So you really get trapped in a vicious cycle.
While going through the process of healing God and I spoke a lot about this. Why do I feel jealous of some people, and more so, why do I envy other women that look better, act better, have more stuff, are happier, do and say all the right things, and for crying out loud, eat whatever they want and never pick up an ounce. Getting older doesn’t really help. These days I have to contend with those who are younger as well.
I have learned a lot about how the enemy plays women against each other to keep us from being what God intended: sisters in Christ, best friends and allies against the Devil. I am so amazed how much God have changed me in this area and I wrote a lot about this in my course for women struggling with food.
However, this time my bout with envy looked a little different. My focus was on other families that seem to have so much more than us, do so much more, and just seemed so blessed in comparison to us. You know how quickly the enemy can color the picture, until we forget all about the countless blessing in our own lives.
It started with a little uncomfortable tweak of envy towards good friends of ours. Nothing serious, because I love them and I want them to have things and go places… I just want it too. So I let this envy go unchecked. Harmless, right? Or maybe not…
A few days later I found myself stewing about acquaintance who are younger than us, yet have everything we can only dream of. This time I wasn’t so generous in my approach though. I shook my finger at God and whined: ” This isn’t fair! They are not even Christians, how can they deserve any of this!” I was getting angry and mean. I thought about them all the time, hoping to come across some dirty laundry. I spent hours comparing “us” with “them” in my mind. I simply had to find a weakness. I even had imaginary conversations with my new “enemy”, where I would “enlighten” them on all our family’s accomplishments.
I know, it’s sad and especially shocking now that I write it down. This went on for a few days and then God got a hold of me early this morning. How could I have missed the fact that I was completely without love: Love does not envy or boast and it certainly does not rejoice in the misfortune of other. Okay, granted, it’s very much human behavior, but it’s a far cry from the Agape love that has been poured out in my heart. Why does it always take me so long to see my own sin? I could have saved myself days of agony and hours wasted on people that I (for a few days) exalted above my God.
Oh, that I will keep my eyes more on God and less on people! I am so grateful that He loves me even in my prideful state. He opened my eyes again this morning to see: Some of the envy I felt are really just desires, good desires He places in my heart and the “envy” should nudge me to go after those things! Other things I envy in people are just foolish, things that are certainly not in His plan for me.
I said sorry, really sorry for being such a spoiled brat, and I asked Him to plug the envy out of my heart and give me the strength again to go after my own dreams instead of being envious. Last, I asked Him to fill my heart again with His love for people.
I got up from that carpet, and you know it… Peace like a river and Love, amazing love even for my enemy…