jealousy, ugliness, and other such thoughts

oh hello jealousy. i thought we were done with you.

now that we have everything we’ve ever wanted. now that we have a house. now that i have an amazing daughter. that my husband has an amazing job and a church family that we just adore. we have each other and really, what more do we need? oh yes, i thought we were done with you. we have everything. we ARE SO BLESSED.

but then, i slip and  check facebook. {when i’m not even supposed to be on it for lent gosh darn it!}

i see friends who can afford to get GORGEOUS pictures of their newborn baby.

i see friends who can afford to buy a nicer/newer houses when ours is rebelling…{STILL} or  a fancier car when we are borrowing one, or those friends were able to meet up and get together {and why wasn’t i invited?}

yeieieie.

jealousy is ugly isn’t it? i mean UGLY. really UGLY.

if i lived in my own little bubble and couldn’t compare myself to others, i’d be just fine. you know what i mean? comparison is the worst way i could spend my day. seriously.

but we all do it, don’t we?

i know that God is trying to share something with me when i hear little bits and pieces about a certain topic over and over. that’s how it’s been the past couple of weeks on this subject… on the radio i randomly hear someone talking about envy. at mops last friday a girl talked about comparison sucking the life right out of you, random conversations with friends wishing that we didn’t wish for more… LETS JUST SAY, the conviction of jealousy and envy has been rolling around in my head.

you know what i’ve been thinking about? that God doesn’t want me to be jealous. {um, duh…but maybe i just have a thick skull.}

He has created me just the way i am and HE has given me everything as gifts. the very air i breathe is a gift but more than that…

the flowers in our front planters that need to be weeded are a gift…

this roof over my head is a HUGE gift…

that man in the other room that loves me is a gift…

and of course that little girl who needs every part of me to love and care for her is such an amazing gift!

how spoiled and ugly is it when we i look over at what gifts He’s given someone else and i wish i had that instead of the things in my own hands? yikes…{!!}

HE commands me not to be jealous in Exodus 20:17

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

it’s a command. not because my life is perfect. but because HE knows exactly what i need and desire and HE is taking care of me better than i can myself.

to covet anything that my neighbor has steals joy. it steals peace.  and really, as far as i can tell, that’s why God commanded us not to envy. because HE KNEW that if we did it would steal the gifts of joy and peace and contentment from us! we can not be joyful when we keep looking to our left and right and wishing for something else. we can not be peaceful when we start counting all the things that we don’t have.

He says in Proverbs 14:30:

“A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.”

Peace is my word of the year. when i think of peace, i think of a “tranquil heart” like the verse above…that tranquil heart brings life. and that life, that tranquility , HIS tranquility, filling every part of me, is the REAL desire of my heart!

then in Galations 5:19-26:

” Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”

you guys! envy and jealousy are listed right there next to sexual immorality, drunkenness and sorcery and the rest. it is SIN just like the rest. there is no “level” of worse sins…they are all sin. therefore, my comparing myself to others is a sin. it is a part of the flesh that i long to be rid of!

that other list, the fruit, that is what i desire.

Apostle Paul, the author of these verses, is reminding us that those of us who claim Christ as our Savior have crucified the flesh, the desires of the flesh. HE went to the cross, this Good Friday, because of my jealousy and my selfish envy. because i sat there wasting my day comparing myself to my friends.

man. i am such a sinful creature. i do not deserve the gifts He has given me, let alone the ultimate Gift of His love and life!

friends, i pray that you are better than i am with the comparison game. hopefully it’s not a struggle for you like it is for me. but i pray that this week we remember that Christ went to the Cross FOR US. He gives of Himself so that we have want for nothing!! we need nothing else than His saving grace.

i know i’ll be thinking about that this week and i hope you will too!

xoxo-kimberly renee

***

ps-why do i share this with you? it’s a little personal isn’t it? i share it because i promised myself i’d be real on here. when i feel like i’m learning something, it brings God glory for me to share what i’m learning instead of hiding it away to myself. i long to give Glory to God by sharing what is real and true in my life. if i hide behind the screen and seem perfect in any way, that is a lie. so that’s why.

pps- these pretty pictures are japanese cherry blossoms from when we lived in Princeton. things are barely starting to bloom here, hoping to find some of these trees in Lancaster too because they’re my favorite!

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4 Responses to jealousy, ugliness, and other such thoughts

  1. Sherri Brown April 15, 2014 at 7:19 am #

    Hi Kim, Thank you!! I so needed this reminder (today, yesterday – well the past year:) On another note, we have Kwanzan Cherry trees that look a lot like your Japanese Cherry blossom pictures (hope that helps with “home sickness”).

  2. Elissa April 15, 2014 at 7:28 am #

    This post is very applicable and important for me to hear right now. Thanks for the good and encouraging reminder. One of my favorite posts!

  3. Karen April 15, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    This is GREAT! I was just thinking about this this morning. I was watching Property Virgins on HDTV and was thinking about the other shows I watch that are similar to this. I often think, wow, these people have such high demands when buying a house. Such as “NEEDING” at least two bathrooms, 4 bedrooms, master suite to fit their king sized bed, a modern kitchen with SS appliances and don’t forget “no formica countertops…how disgusting!” :), and it goes on and on. I often think how lucky they are to be able to afford these things and to have all this space. But this morning, I got to thinking that they are living a lie…they don’t NEED all of these things. And, why am I so jealous of this? I’m going to try really hard not to watch these shows any more….it’s too tempting to get sucked into this lie!

    What MOPS group are you in? I was in MOPS for almost 8 years at the Lancaster Alliance Church. What a great group of women and so encouraging! I think there are even some moms who are still there from when I was in it.

  4. Lynne Davis April 16, 2014 at 10:09 am #

    Kim, You always did know just when to come into someone’s life and thoughts. Thank you for your insight, your courage and your convictions to do the right thing for all of the right reasons. Love, you and hope that you and JT and Sophia have a blessed and beautiful Easter Sunday.

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