At least I got 1,000
I'm going to come right out and say that envy, jealousy and selfishness are traits of mine; I"m not proud of it but it's my truth right now. These are not sexy traits and one that I've just recently begun to admit. But it's something that I've been struggling with in the dark and have gone on to experience shame for how it has affected my relationships. The biggest trick of the enemy is to make us believe that we are the only ones struggling with this, but I know that I"m not the only one. We live in a social media driven generation where we are constantly surrounded and made aware of the lives lived around us.
Whether we know it or not, we are constantly seeing what other people have and comparing ourselves to them. For me, I get envious when I see people as successful entrepreneurs, traveling, walking in their purpose, and they're in this seemingly happy relationship. Envy is a reaction to lacking something that we want. So as a person who wants all of those things I begin to diminish the things that I do have and fantasize over the things that I don't, simply because I see others with it. Jealousy on the other hand, is a reaction to the perceived threat of losing something. For me that comes in the form of my friendships. I get jealous when I see one friend from one friend group get together with another friend from another one of my friend groups because I think that both of them are going to stop liking me and forget about me. I know completely unrealistic but that's how I feel.
Both of those feelings, envy and jealous, come from this deficiency narrative of "there's not enough for me." Me - the daughter of the Most High, the one Christ died for, the one who God would sell off
the whole world + trade the creation just for me (Isaiah 43:4). As a child of God, I sometimes forget how loved I am. I forget that God is love, He has an abundant source of love that I have access to because I am made in His image.
In my bible study group we're studying the life of David. Many know him, for his encounter
with Goliath. If you don't here's a quick video to give you the overview of his rise to fame. Saul gave David the platform to kill Goliath and then Saul made him the commander of his army, training him up to be a warrior. Saul was pleased with David. But as David's name
began to ring all through the town, but his friend/mentor and King, Saul, began to envy David for all of the praise he was getting. The women in the village began to shout as they danced, they sang: "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands." (1 Samuel 18:7). The extra attention David was getting from others began to make Saul envious because David was getting something Saul lacked - praise and attention. The envy grew in Saul so much so that he tried to kill David multiple times.
As I go through the story I think about how many times I've been Saul. Not to the point of physically killing someone but being selfish with my resources, information, time, feedback, expertise to try to kill someone's dream/business/plan because I'm jealous. How prideful of me to think that I can stop someone else's purpose and God's plan in coming to pass? Who in the world do I think I am for putting that much importance on my life? But in reality, I get selfish because I feel small. I feel insignificant and I feel like my purpose is insignificant in comparison to someone else's. I get to comparing and I see their 10,000 and completely negate my 1,000. I enlarge the one or two prayers that have not been answered and forget the multitude of prayers that have been answered.
I challenge you. Take stock of your 1,000 and see how much you have been blessed with. Even if you don't think you've been blessed with much at minimum you're alive: reading this blog post and breathing - that in and of itself is something to be happy about. I combat my feelings of envy and jealousy with first admitting it. I have to admit it to my friends when I feel it coming up or when I see it playing out in my relationships. I call it out and then I remember. I remember all that I have to be grateful for because I'm running my own race. A race that I am so incredibly equipped for and called for. A race that no one can deter because what's for me is for me and no man can take it away.
So no need to be selfish because all that I have doesn't even belong to me. No need to be jealous because what other people have will never negate or take away from what I have unless I self-sabotage what I have. Finally, no need to be envious because I have all that I need for where I am right now. But when I do find myself getting into that mindset I give it over to God because He cares for me. His burden is light and his yoke is easy.
I'm human, I don't have it all together, and I don't have to.