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Overcoming Envy through a Different Perspective

Do you want to be happy with your life and content with what you have?  Perhaps envy could be stealing your joy and competing with your satisfaction.

It may not seem like envy and identity are related issues at first glance but they are really connected when we begin to think about the issue of comparison.  Envy is that little evil that we all have probably struggled with due to  the need to add up to another who seems happier and more satisfied with life.  The only problem is that envy is a mirage.  It is not necessarily true that the grass is greener on the other side.

Over time I have concluded that envy develops when our cultural surroundings go awry.  When too many people establish a tangible or vain entity as an absolute for success we find ourselves trying to measure up to that standard.  The problem is that our standards should instead be based on Biblical truth, on who GOD says that we are as individuals.

“Confidence arises as we root our need for Affirmation primarily in Him, not other people.” -Jade Lee

When one person is crowned a hero because he obtained a new car, a house or a beautiful wife but another is ignored due to obtaining peace, a strong prayer life and compassion for others people begin to strive towards what seems to be the cause of acceptance.  The problem with allowing one’s self to live in this type of culture is it’s surface.  In other words, people are only showing you what they want you to see and it may or may not be authentic enough for you to strive towards.  It would be really sad to strive towards a goal, get there and realize it was not what you imagined.

It is also dangerous to live in this type of existence because you begin to empower others to be your foundation for acceptance in proxy of GOD, who’s opinion of you will never change.  He loves you no matter what you do, how much you achieve or how many people seem to follow you.  He loves you because of who you are and out of who He is (Love Personified).

When you begin to feel down because others seem to have it better it is usually time to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Why am I feeling low due to another’s success?
  2. How am I comparing myself to this person?
  3. Why do I feel the need to compare myself?
  4. Is there anyone or a group of people in my cultural world that I feel sees me as less because I am not like so and so?
  5. How can I begin to look at this situation the way GOD sees me in it as opposed to the way I believe others see me?
  6. Who in my cultural world can I trust to affirm me for who I am and love me unconditionally?
  7. Is there anyone in my life I need to create space from because their values are not congruent with mine not how I would like to see myself?

These seven questions are thought provoking questions I mentally ponder on when deciding if the thoughts I am having are true.  I am very careful to separate the way others perceive me from how GOD sees me because oftentimes they are quite dissimilar.

By question seven my emotions usually begin to line back up with truth.  I find peace and a disconnect from negative emotions begins to occur.  I’m then free from a mental trap of illusion.

Joy returns and I begin to Re-Focus on the intangibles that really matter: my husband’s love, the peaceful feeling of the sun beating on my face, the memories with family I’ll never forget and the joy of a child’s laughter as I’m sharing a story.

I begin to meditate on my tangible blessings as well (reasons that others may envy me, but I hope not!)- my wonderful, affirming husband, a beautiful home, two wonderful parents married for over 30 years, a blessed ministry and many other answered prayers.  I am truly grateful for these gifts but also realize they are not my source of joy, GOD is; everything Must stay in balanced perspective to maintain my peace of mind.

It is my prayer that you will find success in applying these same principles every time you are confronted with the pull towards discontentment or envy.  You are worth more and you are enough just the way you are.

Scripture for Meditation: 

Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.  Romans 8:34
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” John 14:1 ESV

Today I want to pray a special prayer for you: Father, please help every person reading this to know who they are in you, even in the storm of rejection that may flood their world.  Please help them to let it go- the pain, the questions of if they are good enough, the desire for what others have and the illusion meant that what others have is better.  Help them to see truth in the midst of an ongoing battle to keep consistent joy.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

Please share your thoughts in the comments below regarding envy and contentment.  I will also be taking prayer request through the comment section.

In His love,

Jade Lee

One of my favorite quotes regarding enjoying life:

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13 replies
  1. Ifreke Okpokowuruk
    Ifreke Okpokowuruk says:

    I was really struggling with envy and contentment this morning. I felt rejection from other people at school because I didn’t feel I measured up to others in terms of my physical appearance. I had a strong belief that certain people would be more welcoming to me if I had clothes, shoes, etc. like other guys in the AUC. I released my frustrations to God through song and prayer and then unbelievably I was scrolling down my instagram feed and saw this post. This was exactly what I needed. I was placing power in the hands of other people to affirm who I was and had a deep need for acceptance that I had been suppressing for so long. My prayer is that God would help me decipher the lies about my identity and what I need to be happy, especially when it comes to relationships with females. Thank you so much for this post!

    Reply
    • admin
      admin says:

      Ifreke,

      What a joy knowing that you can be led into the right words at the right times. It is great to hear that you discovered confirmation and escaped those negative thoughts/feelings. You are definitely not alone and this can happen to the best of us; it is my prayer that you continue to see yourself in His light more than any other. Love & Blessings to you!

      Reply
  2. Janae
    Janae says:

    Loved this post! Envy is such a sneaky thing, especially as a college student. It can seem so hard to measure to the next person getting a job offer, internship, or making honor roll! I will definitely use these 7 questions periodically to check the way I’m looking at my life.

    Reply
    • admin
      admin says:

      Janae,

      I was personally hoping this would be able to be used as a reference for future use; it makes my heart glad to hear that this was of help to you. Envy is definitely a factor we must consistently protect our hearts from and remind ourselves that we Do Measure Up to GOD regardless of the blessings we see in other lives. We never know what is happening Behind the Scenes in their lives. To be someone else we would have to take All of their life, not just part of it; which usually has it’s elements that are not so desirable. I’m sure you the role model many others look up to as well! Love & Blessings to you!

      Reply
  3. Ali
    Ali says:

    This blog post was great!!! I love the blog all together! During the past week I had been struggling with thoughts of comparison and envy, but after reading this post I felt a lot more equip to turn away from those thoughts. I was so encouraged after bring the questions into prayer with me and realizing all the thoughts I was struggling were far from the truth! Question number 6 really showed me that I have sooo many people in my life that I can turn to that will affirm and approve of me. Sometimes you dont really think about these things unless the question is brought up. That is exactly what happened to me as I read this post! I fell better about my self and my life. I know that I am loved and blessed in so many ways. I love who I am and who God has created me to be. Thank you Jadelee.Org for this wonderful post!

    Reply
    • admin
      admin says:

      Ali,

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment! I am so happy to hear that you have found a strong community of like minded, affirming people. This is many people’s dream. I am also glad to know that this post has led you into prayerful consideration of your blessed state. You are loved and blessed and I know you will find perfect peace in Him.

      Reply
  4. Helen Okpokowuruk
    Helen Okpokowuruk says:

    I was really blessed by this post especially point number 7. There are some people I need to realize do not have the same values as I do.

    Reply
    • admin
      admin says:

      Helen,

      I agree with you that it is so easy to have toxic relationships at worst and unbalanced relationships at best causing us to waver mentally in our beliefs about ourselves. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your values, which are immeasurably important.

      Reply
  5. Mea
    Mea says:

    At first glance I wouldn’t out envy and lack f identity together, but after reading this I can see how they are closely related. I’m certainly thankful for that prayer and will continue to ask the Lord to fill in any gaps in my identity that are not based on Him. Especially in this post graduation season in my life where the question “so what are YOU doing?” pops up everywhere and I am so tempted to think each time is what I’m doing enough? Will they approve?

    Reply
    • Jade Lee
      Jade Lee says:

      Unfortunately, that temptation lurks behind the door of every life change. Be encouraged in knowing that we all face the inclination towards the approval of others, but there are specific ones He has placed in our lives to guide us to Him. My heartfelt prayers are continuously with you as you journey towards peace in your decisions. Proverbs 3:5-6 (this passage is one of my choice Scriptures as we trust we are making the right turns in life)

      Reply
    • Jade Lee
      Jade Lee says:

      Why thank you! That is very sweet of you darling. It is always an honor to bring others joy. There were times in my life when happiness was a distant dream. Now I value every moment of gladness.

      Reply
  6. Tesia
    Tesia says:

    This post has really touched me. One Sunday morning I was in my car at Walmart cry out to GOD how I want true joy. The joy that’s example in the Bible and I want it to stay in me. After reading this post I’ve realized that I deal with envy and contentment. But the fact that you gave ways on how to overcome this and your willingness to share this gave me hope.

    Reply

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