(If you’ve stumbled across thist post, let me explain where you are. You have landed smack in the middle of one of my favorite series ever. We started some time ago by learning that God expects us to love ourselves. Now, we’re going through the definition of love in I Corinthians 13:4-7 to help us understand how we can love ourselves in a healthy way so can love others better. Go back to that first post to read the series from the beginning and to find an index of all the posts available. Enjoy today’s post as well.)
Do Not Envy Others: Love Yourself
A really good way to trash yourself is to constantly look at others and compare. On the one hand, you have envy. We’ll talk about the other hand next week.
Envy is wishing we were someone else. We want what they have. We want their talents, their resources, their gifts, their relationships, their abilities, their stuff. We don’t want ours. We convince ourselves that they are better. By default, we are worse. A great deal of self-trash talking is bound up in envy.
We can really be envious of the peace and serenity others seem to have. They don’t seem to have the problems we have. Their family seems to be perfect. Their job pays them lots of money. Their life is good while ours is in shambles.
Newsflash: In many cases, they’re thinking the exact same thing about you. Let me tell you about Mary and Heather (I’ve changed the names to preserve reputations). I can still remember when Mary was confiding in me one day about her struggle with Heather. Heather had her life all together. Things seemed to just be easy for her. Mary was sure that Heather had to know how messed up she was and was looking down her nose at her. The truly odd thing was within a week of that conversation I had almost the exact same story from Heather about Mary. Mary had her life all together. Things were easy for her. Her family was so good. Heather was sure Mary was looking down at her. Both of these sisters were filled with envy. What was sad is the envy stopped them from loving themselves and from being able to love each other.
The fact is everyone has problems. Romans 3:23 says we’ve all sinned. I don’t care who you are looking at, they are in the exact same boat as you. There is no need to envy them. It doesn’t matter how much money they have, they are a sinner in need of a Savior just like you are. It doesn’t matter how nice their family is, they are a sinner in need of a Savior just like you are. It doesn’t matter what abilities they have that you don’t, they are a sinner in need of a Savior just like you are. Why envy them? They are just like you. By their own strength, their life is in shambles just like yours is when run by your strength.
Further, I Corinthians 12:15-17 explains that we are different for a reason. God created us to accomplish the work He wants us to do. He used the physical body as an illustration. Feet do what feet do, not what hands do. Does it make sense for feet to envy the hand or vice versa? Does it make sense for either of them to think they are worthless simply because they can’t do what the other does? Of course not. Feet need to do what feet were made to do. Hands need to do what hands were made to do. You need to do what you were made to do.
Revel in that. Enjoy it. Give glory to God and thanksgiving for what He has given you to do. If you didn’t do it, who would? Don’t get caught up in how it seems to compare to anyone else’s job. Sure, we all want to be the rock star. We think if we aren’t the one singing on the stage what we are doing is worthless. How far do you think the rock star would get without the person who runs the sound board?
Don’t waste your time on envy. We’ve all got issues even if we won’t all share them. We’ve all got our job; God made us that way.
Love yourself; don’t envy.