Sometimes, what keeps us from living with flair is a deep-rooted sin.
I’ve been thinking about the spiritual disease of envy today. It creeps into the soul and causes the kind of devastation that leaves us depressed, angry, imprisoned, and lonely. We know we’re being controlled by envy when we cannot rejoice in the prosperity of others. We know envy has taken root when we secretly feel better about ourselves when we hear of the misfortune of others.
These are deep, ugly, honest things. Living with flair means we expose them and live in the truth. When we compare ourselves to others and then find ourselves wanting more, we get sucked into the powerful delusion of envy.
Envy oppresses and depresses. It sabotages friendships. It divides us from our true self. It alienates us from God. It imprisons us in a world of competition, accumulation of possessions, and frenzy to prove ourselves.
It just might be the major cause of unhappiness in American society. As I thought about this today, I discovered two truths that help me battle this spiritual cancer:
1. Envy cannot stand in light of the sufficiency of God. God provides for all of our needs. I can rejoice and claim that, “The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need.” Why compare myself to others? Why look with longing on what everyone else has? I have everything.
2. Envy cannot stand in light of perceived abundance. Perceived abundance means just that: we choose to acknowledge every place of abundance in our lives. Instead of perceiving scarcity, we rejoice in abundance. My daughters have so many toys. But guess what? They want the one thing they don’t have. They want the one toy the other child chooses. I’ve watched this dynamic for the past 5 years. Why do children go crazy over the one toy in the playroom that somebody else has when there are hundreds of other choices? Envy! It blinds them to the reality of abundance.
When we feel that resentful longing of envy, we confess it and ask God to show us the truth of His provision and abundance in our lives. I want to be the kind of woman that truly rejoices over the prosperity of others and celebrates that abundant life that God always–always–offers to me.
Journal: How do you fight envy in your own heart?