A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness in the bones. Proverbs 14:30 Amplified
"And to be honest I haven't updated my blog because I am so depressed lately and feel so inferior everytime I visit yours. I hate that about me so much - that I wish I had your life! "The words slithered across the Facebook chat box and I could feel Samantha's pain. I could feel it because I have been there. Envy is a universal snake that creeps across geographic borders, age borders, ethnicity borders and even economic borders. It is a poisonous creature whose venom few can escape. The good news is there is an antidote.
Samantha is my sister. She is a smart, pretty mother of five, who in addition to holding down a daycare in her home is also pursuing a degree and acing exams. Yet, like many of us, she compares herself to others and finds herself lacking. I think of many friends and acquaintances that I could compare myself to: Jennifer and Linda are rays of sunshine to everyone they encounter, Lucianna and Nikki are gorgeous, Marlies is the best cook, Margaret and Donna are talented in so many areas it seems unfair, LeeAnn has my dream home, Dina is a born leader (not to mention tall), Fabi and Theda are brilliant,Teresa has a successful business and is a great photographer,, Karen is a wonderful mom and so much fun to be with, Samantha is earning her degree...I could go on and on. It is so easy to be pierced by the fangs of envy. Left untreated, however, envy is fatal. It is deadly to friendships, marriages and other relationships and it murders joy. Praise God there is a readily available antidote. It is called truth, and Scripture tells us that it is truth that sets us free. Following are some truths to administer when that subtle viper manages to sink his teeth in:
1. God created us and He sets our borders. The same God who tells the ocean just how far it can go and causes the sun to rise and set each day has created each one of us. He chose where we were to be born and what family we would be born into and what physical traits we would receive. He doesn't make mistakes. He says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Read Psalm 139 and accept it as truth.
2. God gives us our talents and abilities. While we can hone and sharpen our gifts and talents, we cannot change the innate traits that God has created in us. Read Matthew 25:15-29. We are not called to be like anyone else, but to use what God has given to us to benefit His kingdom. Ask God to show you your particular gifts and abilities and how to use them.
3. God tells us we are foolish when we compare ourselves to others. 2 Corinthians 10:12b says but they measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves among themselves , are not wise. The moment we begin to compare ourselves with someone else we are entering that frightening place where Indiana Jones once found himself - snakes everywhere! We must avoid comparing ourselves with others - either we'll be puffed up with pride and explode or we'll be poisoned by the asp of envy.
There's so much more I could say. I have been there. I have felt the self-deprecation that accompanies envy. But no more! I have my antitode readily available. And when I read that someone else's blog gets 5,000 hits in the same time period that I get 240, well...so be it!
Love you, my uniquely created friends,
Marie with a :-)