Friday, January 4, 2013

The green eyed monster...

There is a person in your circle, or outside of your circle, or in your life who has just received something you want, or someone you want.  The person is receiving accolades by the double digits and there is not a person that doesn't seem to fall all over them.  The person almost glows with excellence.  You know along with everyone else, that they have achieved success, even if only for a moment.  
You decide they are annoying and everyone is overreacting.....  

Has the green eyed monster ever paid you a visit?  Of course it has.  Who am I kidding, Of course she has.  The green eyed monster is a woman, I am convinced.....  

To be jealous means to be "resentful against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc., or against another's success or advantage itself."

Let's face it, we've all felt that little green eyed monster arise quietly within us, when we hear of another's success or even when we see someone who is close to us, receive an award or a new material object that we were yearning for.  We might not acknowledge this feeling to ourselves, or to anyone else for that matter, but the telltale sign that we are feeling jealous of that person's good life or good thing is that we can't wish them well or congratulate them.  Or if we do, we do it with a feeling that there's something about them that is a little bit annoying to us... or something underneath that we don't quite like about them.  We start looking for character traits in them that we don't like and start picking at them.  Perhaps, we will just subconsciously begin to distance ourselves from them or talk about them behind their backs, to make ourselves feel better and elevate ourselves above them.  It's not pretty.  In fact, I cannot think of anything else that makes a Christian woman more unattractive, than envy.

I have sat among groups of women many, many times.  I love hanging with my girls, especially other mothers.  It is one of the best gifts of having friends.  You can share with each other the deep dark sins and no one gets hurt, right?  Well, sort of.  I guess it depends on what sins we choose to unveil at these gatherings.  Think about it, moms, how many times have you sat among friends and shared how you occasionally yell at your husband, yell at your children, lose your patience, spend too much money, etc.?  How much easier it is for us to share these sins with our friends.  To admit to feeling jealous towards another woman and what she has, and we don't?  It sounds dreadfully petty and spiteful.  Yet, it's running rampant through our churches and our homes, and spreading like wildfire.  

The bible tells us "Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood, but who can stand before jealousy?" Proverbs 27:4.  This is actually saying that it is easier to deal with a problem that is clothed in anger rather than jealousy.  Jealousy is secret, it is conniving and silent.  It tears at the heart of the possessor.  It slowly begins to cause strife and stealthily create problems in a relationship or friendship, eroding away the intimacy you once shared.

It's ugly, and it must be stopped.  The only way, sisters, that we can stop the monster, is to not invite her in when she comes for tea!  Know who YOU are in Christ.  Jealousy stems from the insecurity in our lives and the feeling of being threatened in whatever position we want to be in.  I will illustrate with an example that NEVER happens in church - MUSIC MINISTRY.  If you sing on the worship team, or just enjoy singing in general; are a minister of music or run the choir; or play and instrument; and, suddenly another person comes along who may get more attention, more compliments, and has more musical gifts than you, you may begin to resent them and envy what they have.  The green eyed monster roars her ugly head, and instead of acknowledging that you wish you could sing better than you do, or play better than you do, or know more about music than you already know, you begin to dislike her and problems arise. 

Sisters, knowing that you are beautifully and wonderfully made will aid you in knowing who you are in Christ!  God has given you a unique set of talents and gifts to use for His kingdom.  Coming to terms with who God has made us to be will propel us into a wonderfully celebratory time of  being able to rejoice when others accomplish something cool, be happy when they get something new, or celebrate when something fantastic happens in their lives.  We can be sisters in Christ in the true meaning and actually express happiness towards them and for them for who God made them to be, even if it means they may shine a bit brighter than you here on earth for a time.

Can all of you ladies imagine what kind of adventures God has in store for us if we could just uninvite the gnarly monster and form meaningful relationships with other women God has placed in our path, even those who may be better at something than YOU???

I challenge you, today, to evaluate all of the ugly feelings you have towards that sister in your circle.  Take those feelings, dissect them, and make sure they aren't a visit from that sneaky, beastly green-eyed monster.  Confess the jealousy, and move on with you life, watching God do things in you that you thought were impossible!    

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