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:
- Why am I feeling low due to another’s success?
- How am I comparing myself to this person?
- Why do I feel the need to compare myself?
- 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?
- 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?
- Who in my cultural world can I trust to affirm me for who I am and love me unconditionally?
- 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,
One of my favorite quotes regarding enjoying life: