Do you know anyone who only sees what God hasn’t provided rather than what God has provided? Some people don’t have an appreciation of their own uniqueness and self worth therefore always wanting to be someone else. Would you like to know what it means to want what someone else has whether it is status, possession, lifestyle, relationship or characteristics? Do you want to know what the opposite of love? Do you know someone who seeks the destruction of another for the benefit of his or her own gain? Does pride and greed link to this monster? This monster comes before anger along with bitterness and is fueled by a sense of entitlement to have or deserve success and recognition over another person. This monster will reject God’s provision and God’s purpose. This monster’s name is “envy”.
From early childhood, many people have been conditioned to see themselves in comparison to others. My husband frequently reminds me not to compare myself to others but I think as women we seem to always do. For instance I know I need to exercise and loose weight, which he reminds me to for health reasons and for the reason I always complain about not getting new clothes until I do loose the weight. I return with the statement, “In comparison I think I look pretty good for a woman who has had four children.” However, this is not an excuse to compare. The number one killer of women is heart disease and I should exercise, not compare how I look with other women my age. I should be comparing myself to what Jesus would want for me. For some people this could sometimes can get out of control if we loose sense of who we are and that we should only compare ourselves to Jesus Christ.
The monster of envy is driven by the false notion that a person deserves to have what ever he perceives will contribute to his own personal gain and satisfaction. What most of the time happens, is when we don’t feel good about ourselves, we may try to sooth that pain by seeking significance in circumstances rather than finding the needs met by Jesus Christ. The desire to be famous is part of the evidence of feeling valued or have a place in the world instead of having value as a Christian.
What are other signs of turning into this monster? Resentment to others, critical and judgmental, depressed, gossip, seeing others as “all bad” and using the “If only” discontentment of expressing and wishing things were different. Envy always starts by desiring what someone else is or has. It is a time when a person doesn’t want to deal with the reminder of his own failures. Many times bad luck or the unfairness of life seem evident in the experiences. Sometimes a person might always need to be the best at every task for proof.
How can we kill this ugly monster?
- Be honest with yourself and ask God to reveal your motivations and feelings.
- Commit to God daily asking Him for guidance.
- Count your blessings often, write them down or keep a journal.
- Read Scriptures or books that encourage reflection on God’s goodness.
- Minimize exposure to magazines, media etc that focus on material gain.
- Limit or avoid times with people who enflame feelings and thoughts of envy and jealousy until you can get the monster off your back.
- Remind yourself of whom you are as one of God’s children.
- Practice spiritual gifts, talents and disciplines and God to bring believers into your life ho can encourage you in your relationship with Jesus.
I Peter 2:1 So putting away all wrongdoing, and all tricks and deceits and envies and evil talk…
We must understand we all have great gifts. We can also make a great contribution to the Kingdom of God and be content not only with His blessings but also what He has done for us. Don’t let the ugly monster get on your back.