First things, first…the winner of the copy of Unbound Birth is…Comment Number Three – Beth Y.!!!!! Beth, I’ll be emailing you today with details. Thanks for reading and commenting!
* Please note this is a series – if you are new here, first of all, thank you for visiting us. You are always welcome. Secondly, should you want to read this series from the beginning or pick and choose by topic, click the “Stinkin’ Thinkin’ Makeover” tab under the header above.
A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot. – Proverbs 14:30, ESV
Comparisons breathe death – this we know all too well. And for the record, Dawn Camp wrote a fabulous article on this very topic yesterday for (in)courage.
Comparisons breathe death because they almost always invariably lead to envy and once we arrive at the state of envy, we better just hold on because it ain’t too pretty.
I have always used the terms “jealousy” and “envy” interchangeably but I recently learned they are quite different. Jealousy is when we fear losing something or someone we love while envy is when we covet something someone else possesses.
For example, I might be jealous of my husband’s hairdresser that resembles Angelina Jolie because I’m worried I will lose him to her. (For the record, this is just for example purposes. I have no idea what Jason’s hairdresser looks like.)
On another note, I can be jealous of someone who has a basement in their home because, I’m not going to lie, I want a basement. I covet a basement simply because I desire to politely ask my children to retreat to it while I’m making dinner so I can hear myself think and not have everyone in my grill. Pardon the pun and sorry for the digression.
Regardless of the meaning, both jealousy and envy can eat away the soul quicker than battery acid on skin. It destroys the flesh and burrows within and there you are, standing with holes in your skin and wounds that run deep.
I’ve seen people literally destroyed by this tandem of negativity and their thoughts were derailed by it’s cancer.
Comparisons might breathe death but they’re just the stepping stones to deep-rooted envy that chews up the soul and spits it out in a pile of bitterness, anger, and entitlement.
After studying James last spring, he quickly became one of my favorite writers of the Bible. I love his direct, shoot-from-the-hip-let’s-not-sugarcoat-this type of communication that, yes, I realize isn’t for everyone. He doesn’t mince words that James…
So in the fourth chapter of his short book he asks, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” – James 4:1-3
An envious/jealous heart is one that is filled with discontent. Discontent (or ingratitude) leads to distrust of God. Distrust of God leads to lack of joy. Lack of joy stinks up thoughts.
Stinky thoughts heighten those of envy and jealousy and the downward spiral intensifies and increases in traction.
When we find ourselves coveting something someone else possesses, how about we make a pact to thank God for five things WE have that are blessings we often overlook? When I complain about our lack of a basement, how about instead I think of the fact that we have a bedroom for each person in our family, that we really have more than enough space compared with the rest of the world, that the giggles and loudness during dinner prep will one day be missed?
Because it’s only in the retraining of our thoughts that we will get off the stinkin’ thinkin’ merry-go-round and lay down those comparisons and envy at the foot of the cross.
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. – James 3:16
What about you? What do you do when you find yourself in a position of jealousy or envy? What advice do you have for those struggling with these two evil twin emotions?