In Others’ Words: Who Do You Think You Are?

Envy 2016

Envy is an ugly two-way emotion.

In one direction, I throw doubt at myself, splattering thoughts of “I can’t” and “I won’t ever be that good” all over my self-confidence. At the same time, I toss an equal amount of “Why you instead of me?” and “I want what you have” at someone else — and that someone can be a valued friend.

Unwelcome, offensive thoughts crawl through my mind. No, I don’t speak them out loud — but they’re caustic to my mood, my creativity. God only knows what damage they would do to my relationships.

The remedy to envy — to preventing it from even happening? To celebrate another person’s success — out loud and with enthusiasm. I have to remember who I am — and it’s okay to celebrate that, too. And then I entrust myself — my God-given abilities and the success of my dreams — to God and His timing.

In Your Words: What causes you to wrestle with envy? How do you remember who you are — what your gifts are? I’d love for you to join the conversation today and share one of your gifts with us, so we can celebrate you.

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6 Comments

  1. June 7, 2016, 6:51 am   /  Reply

    I’m not sure I have any gifts, or, looking back, that I ever really did. An objective analysis would rate me as a failure in nearly everything I’ve done. I can say, “Well, I’ve fought The Good Fight”, but that’s something of a participation award, a feel-good ennobling.

    But I don’t really have a problem with envy, and I don’t know why. Other people did their thing; I did mine. Maybe to God it all works out the same, and the only ‘gift’ is that understanding.

    • June 7, 2016, 8:23 am   /  Reply

      Andrew: I love your perspective: “Other people did their thing; I did mine.”
      That’s how it should be.
      And as a creation of God, you do have gifts because He gifts us all with talents and abilities.

  2. June 7, 2016, 7:27 am   /  Reply

    That’s a very interesting and helpful quote on envy. I had never looked at it quite like that before. I started teaching a new Anthropology class on univ. campus last night, only 8 people but very interesting, and they had almost all been on mission trips or in military service in challenging places. I highlighted some class principles with personal connecting experiences and they thanked me several times. I opened and closed in prayer and one young man, I don’t even know which, quietly said “incredible.” Besides online we have five more face to face sessions. Their responses made me more pleased with what I have to share, and I am determined to mine for gold in their lives, too.

    • June 7, 2016, 8:25 am   /  Reply

      Dee: I looked at a variety of quotes on envy and settled on this one because I appreciated the perspective. One of the things I appreciate about you is how you do mine gold from others’ lives (that’s a beautiful way to say that, too!).

  3. June 7, 2016, 7:49 am   /  Reply

    When I don’t get what I hope for and someone else does, I remind myself that it (whatever it is) wasn’t in God’s plan for me. It was His plan for the other person. Just knowing that God has a very special plan for me helps. Great post.

    • June 7, 2016, 8:29 am   /  Reply

      Pat:
      When I think of envy, I often recall the passage in C.S. Lewis’s novel A Horse and His Boy, where Shasta asks Aslan why he doesn’t get what someone else gets. Aslan replies: “I am telling you your story, not hers.”
      It helps me remember that God is telling me my story, not someone else’s — and to pay attention.

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