I have a condition.
It makes my heart pump.
My fists clench.
My pulse quicken.
It makes my eyes squeeze and my head shake.
It makes me frustrated and irritated.
Just when I think I have been healed from this plague, it shows up again. It doesn’t seem to care that I am tired of it.
It doesn’t seem to care that it burdens me.
It comes and tells me that I will be stuck with it forever.
That others will always be better off than me.
That God doesn’t really have anything for me.
This condition is jealousy.
Just the other day, I visited a big, prominent and influential author’s blog. I looked at it. I critiqued it. I analyzed it for flaws. I reviewed it for strengths. I judged its colors, its words, its layout, its stories and its (fill in the blank). I considered how unfair it is that she has so much, but I have so little.
…and you can see where this was leading me. What was meant to be a time of learning from this person, became a playground for judgement and envy to run wild.
My mind was reading,
but my heart was sliding right away from God.
My pride swung high,
only to swing low the next as I considered the reality of my sin.
Foot by foot, I climbed a ladder of inabilities,
where I perceived my inabilities from new heights.
Playgrounds of jealousy are not blacktops full of smiles, laughter and encouragement. Rather, these playgrounds, plain and simple, are dark, isolating and hurtful playgrounds – playgrounds where envy and discontentment hold hands and where the evil lurks.
Truly, dear friend, let me tell you a little secret: these playgrounds are places where the devil leads children of God astray. He entices them and grabs their hand only to lead them away from God’s loving purposes. He takes them and focuses their hearts on prideful, conceited and worldly intentions. He pulls them right away from their loving Father and distracts them with a candy that never pleases.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Pet. 5:8)
Let’s join hands, scream out to our Father, and run the other way.
Because it’s impossible to be loving and giving when you are judging and critiquing.
It’s impossible to be trusting when you are coveting.
It’s impossible to be witnessing all God wants to do for you,
when you are only witnessing all you don’t have.
The bottom line, my friends, is that when we covet another’s gifts, we end up ungrateful for our ours. We negate our all-loving, all-powerful and all-giving Father, who has a unique plan – that he created beforehand just for us.
Instead, we look at him and say, “I think your plan for that person is better.”
Do you notice the pride here?
We debate and act irate.
The sad thing is that we never win when we compare our average with another’s “amazing”;
it rips us apart.
The truth is – God is not done with us yet. He has his own plans for us. He is the only one who knows how our story ends – and in his perfection, he has crafted it – from beginning to end.
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him… (1 Cor. 2:9)
No two people have the same path.
No two people are prepared in the same way.
No two people are given the same insights.
No two people does God uniquely answer the same way.
No two people will be led down the same extraordinary roads.
But, both people will be led down amazing roads – if they love God.
It is not a game of one gets and the other doesn’t. Our God can – and will – give uniquely to both.
So why do we look at each other and want to be the same – and get the same?
Why do we think he gives to one – but he will leave us with none?
When we do this, we look to them and see all they have,
but not all they are dealing with.
We look at their apparent gifts
and trash ours.
We look to the light of their glory
and hate our story.
We look to them as objects,
and miss their pain.
When the disciples questioned who among them would be the greatest, Jesus answered “But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant.” (Luke 22:26)
Jesus pulls us near, he draws us close to whisper:
It is not about greatness.
It is not about goals.
It is not about progress.
Position – or lack thereof.
Who has what.
It is solely about Jesus Christ.
It is solely about his glory.
It is solely about his story.
It is all about his will.
Not our skill.
It is all for him, through him and by him that we are where we are today.
He’s the only way. In him, we can rest and stay. He will guide us day by day.
It is always been about least of these.
Jesus runs to the weary. He lifts the weak. He comforts the heartbroken. He gives power to the powerless. He exalts the humble. May we always realize our status as “least of these”.
May we reside in the place of humble adoration and humble exaltation of others.
We are lowly, he is lifted.
We are small, he is high.
We are servants, he is master.
We are created, he is Creator.
All things pale in comparison to him.
And the more we see him, the more we see life – meaningful life. We see the one who provides us all things according to his glorious riches. We have no need to look elsewhere because all we need is alive in us.
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71 CommentsLeave a comment
Awesome word, Kelly. Recently God has been teaching me about this very subject. It is so true that we cannot let our guard down. We must continually study and pray about this, so we don’t fall into the trap of jealousy the enemy continually tries to set for us. It is beyond our realm of understanding what God has planned uniquely for us! Thank you for tackling this subject today friend!
That is so right! He has uniquely set before us roads that will stagger our minds, if only we keep our minds on Him. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!
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Kelly, POWERFUL post. Thank you for your honesty – and since we are being honest – let me just say, you are not alone. This is a little tug of war I’ve dealt with my much of my life, and yet I know the truth. “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”Romans 7:15 So I’m learning to confront the lies that back my behavior in an effort to overcome in this area of my life. As I reflect on your post and the recent events in Egypt I am sooooooo reminded that this life I’m living is so much bigger than a blog. Truly, it is about the God we all serve and the work He has called us to do.
Kia, I love that perspective. There is a world and a war so much greater than us. It extends far beyond our words, our comments and our lives. If we are to be faithfully following and helping in this war, we can’t be continuously falling to envy. God calls us to see beyond ourselves to the greater mission. I love your words and truth brought today.
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Oh Kelly! Thanks for sharing so honestly on things we all feel, but most of us are too chicken to confess to others! Jealousy! I find that even when I’m not particularly jealous, I tend to judge and critique. And you are right. I can’t be loving someone while I’m criticizing them!
(I joined your linkup because it’s YOU, even though my post is from last Thursday…Dad coming to visit tomorrow, so I’ve been short on time.)
Betsy, it is hard to admit jealousy. I completely agree. It is easy to let it slide under the radar because no one sees it. Thank you for your honesty too! Thank you so much for liking up for ME! XOXO Totally ok to post old posts; I am happy just to see your smiling face!
One of the best images of God’s grace in the heart of a woman is one that is transparent, who can admit their shortcomings in order to lift someone else up. I consider what James meant in verse 5:16 when he said, ” Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, so that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
Sometimes we have to see the words we write, confessions of un-loved-ness to see how we actually feel, and when we do we open ourselves up to the very critiquing we do to ourselves and others… and that’s hard.
It is ok, though… because the transparency ministers to the same un-loved-ness resting in others and we can step out in faith and pray for each other to see truth, and to see deep down we did also appreciate the beauty in others. 🙂 I think you saw the beauty and the blessing that you were looking for, Kelly, you just had to write it out to find it.
Thanks for hosting the link up today!
Yes, Dawn, you very much “get it”. Thank you for expressing this to me. There is such release in the process of writing things out. I find I can process it with God. Are you the same? Thank you so much for joining me in this #Linkup and for commenting. Your words are held so high by me.
“It is solely about Jesus Christ.” YES. This post is a great reminder for us all.
Thank you so much Emily. My greatest fear is that I will be led astray. Let us just keep our eyes on him and keep on walking toward him.
Kelly, if we are to be honest, I’m sure we all have felt the same way in some aspect or another. I know that I have, but thank GOD that HE allows us to enter into HIS PRESENCE for the answers to what concerns and burdens our hearts and HE always knows exactly what to speak to our hearts to restore our focus back to CHRIST. Just know that you are not alone. I’ve been there for sure, but we serve a GOD whose so much greater and has so much greater for us. I love you! Love and infinite blessings to you, Love! 🙂
Yes, Tai, God is so much greater than our limited vantage point, higher than our perspective and mightier than our thoughts. How grateful I am to him for that. He comes to our rescue and shows us truth. All I know, is that I need Him over and over again. I am praying for you dear one. Much love!
Oh I am so with you on this one Kelly! I get ridiculously jealous of other authors. It always makes me feel not good enough, which has many sad consequences. Thank you for this much needed encouragement and reminder. Amen to this, my friend: “We have no need to look elsewhere because all we need is alive in us.”
Yes, I completely understand. It is hard not to look around to see how far others are going. It is hard to keep our eyes only on Jesus, but when we do he will not only take us amazing places but teach us true contentment. Thank you for your honesty Candace. Much love to you sister. We are works-in-progress!
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I love this sentence – it perfectly describes the battle of jealousy –
“It is not a game of one gets and the other doesn’t. Our God can – and will – give uniquely to both.”
Jealousy, at its core is just a mindset of lack… and we battle it with faith in a loving God of abundance!
Love and blessings to you 🙂
Yes Danise, so true. We battle back knowing that God can do ALL things at ALL times. How amazing is that? We are so blessed and dearly loved. Sending love right back at you!
Simply beautiful sis. I have been n the same place before. And the Lord gently whispered to me, “keep your eyes staid on me.” I have attuned a remnant to hear a word specifically from your voice so don’t covet just be uniquely you.” Sis there is a group, me including who’s spirits quicken when we receive His word that comes through you. Walk in the confidence of be Authentically You! Hugs.
Thank you sweet Tyra. Thank you for your love and truth and words spoken to my heart. God created us – to be us – and to be anything different would be to mock his creation. This is what I thought of when you wrote that. Your words go a level deeper for me so know that they are inspired by God. Love you Tyra.
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You just wrote about what my pastor spoke on this week! I love that! What I realized through studying this issue is that we always look “up the line” to see what others have that we do not have. We rarely look “down the line” to see how much more we have than others. We are not promised the same future — except for the same future in Jesus!
Thank you for speaking Truth today!
That is right Dana! And, if we are hoping for the same future, we will always be walking around with discontentment inside. Great points. Much love to you dear Dana! I love your comments and your words. Keep going strong.
Thanks for such an honest post and encouragement to remain humble for the Lord.
Thanks so much also for the opportunity to link up! 🙂 Have a blessed day xx
Ps Just received in my inbox your crosswalk marriage post: How to fix your spouse. Something I really needed to read today! Keep up the good work! 😉
You bet Angie. Really, the joy is all mine. I love this #RaRalinkup and all the people involved. I am glad you liked the Crosswalk message. Did they send that out to you as a devotional of the day?
Kelly, this is a post to read and re-read! So much truth! Lately my bff and I have been texting about pride and she sent this quote by CS Lewis — Pride is the hen under which all other sins are hatched. Pride is something we all must fight because it can be so subtle, too!! And your words here:
It is solely about Jesus Christ.
It is solely about his glory.
It is solely about his story.
It is all about his will.
ARE WHAT LIFE and WRITING are all about. HIM and HIS glory. Solely about Christ but our souls so often make us stumble — our minds thinking wrong focused on self; our wills determined to do what we want often so we can come out “on top;” and our emotions — easily offended because they are puffed with pride. GREAT POST, my friend. #RaRaLinkup
Exactly! God convicts my heart when I start to fall off the deep end, Sheila. I am so grateful for his truth. You are such a dear person. You totally understand and give from an amazing place of love. Your words ring so true. Thank you for being you – and thank you for commenting here.
Ah Jealousy… I think this is something we all battle at times and it’s hard when it sneaks up and blindsides us, right? Last year for Lent, I gave up Self-Doubt and while it was hard (and I’d love to say I didn’t pick it back up!) what I was surprised by at how it is such an open door to other bad habits, like Jealousy and Fear. I love that you noticed it right away, friend – and didn’t let it fester! Praying for you –for us all!
That is a really great point Karrilee. I never really thought about the origin of jealousy – but self doubt (aka. not trusting God’s promises about who he says we are), absolutely is a root. Thank you for bringing this to mind. I am so glad that you have not picked that back up. Perhaps I need to join you in this endeavor. Much love to you.
Thank you for sharing your heart Kelly. It’s an uncomfortable and therefore hard topic for people to discuss most times. You are absolutely correct, no one wins when we let the jealousy monster have control. He rips apart our unity and our individual souls. Thank you for the encouragement this morning.
The pleasure is all mine. I am so over all the pain that the monster leaves in his wake. He doesn’t care about God’s purposes or my well being. I want to hold on to Jesus and walk the distance according to his ways! Thank you for your comment. You bless me with your words.
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I too easily fall into the comparison trap. I read other blog posts, yours, too, and often come up short. But then I have to remind myself that in Jesus I am enough, and my job is to follow Him. As you say, “God is not done with us yet. He has his own plans for us.” Each of us is unique in their writing style. If we would write like someone else or if we compare, as you say, we are trashing the gift God gives us. Thank you so much for this reminder, Kelly.
That is so right Trudy. He gives what he gives to each of us. And, the gift that he gives, when we use it to bring him glory, is equal in his eyes. I praise Jesus that we are not judged based on what we do. What a relief. I love your words. Trudy, you are serving and honoring your God with passion and fervor. Stay true to who you are; God is well pleased.
Look at how much more we can accomplish with a team of combined diversity and talents! (Is what I had to tell myself to fight off comparison!)
Amen! Wise words from a wise gal! That is so right? How boring would the kingdom of God be if we were all the same – doing the same ole thing.
I agree SO much with what you just said! We truly are a united team of women who are called to encourage and not a bunch of individual competitors who are against each other. 🙂
Amen! We are one army fighting in the name of Jesus Christ! There is power in unity. I can only imagine the devil wants to steal, kill and destroy that!
I totally relate, although I feel like God is finally, FINALLY giving me a glimpse of the truth. I think we need to push into these feelings and see why we are jealous, what is God leading us to? Maybe its not even blogging but being apart of ministry in our local church or para church organization. For me (im speaking for myself here) I feel God is using blogging to strengthen my voice…and although I wish I was “famous” he may have other plans and use me in some other ministry that is not in the virtual world. Thanks for listening to my ramblings, your #raralinkup sister! So gad for your encouragement Kelly!
Kortney, you are exactly right! We have no idea where his roads may take us – but, we can be certain they will be amazing, fulfilling and inspiring roads. I want his roads. I have seen where mine lead.
Thank you for these words. This reminder of what I’m missing while looking at what I don’t have was something I really needed today.
I am so glad it spoke to you Rose. You don’t even know how much that means to me. I cheer this.
“So why do we look at each other and want to be the same – and get the same?
Why do we think he gives to one – but he will leave us with none?”
Kelly, thank you for sharing your authentic struggles and for being vulnerable and open so we can be open to His truth to us. He says He has a good plan for each of us. He says He loves us uniquely, yet we wonder why we don’t get the same as another. I’m praying we see His hand guiding us and leading us and trust His unique plan for each of us. : )
Yes Crystal, that is a great prayer – to see where he is guiding us and that we can trust in that plan. If we can see there we can fill up on hope in what he has laid before us. Great words.
I love this post Kelly and funnily enough you are the author/blogger who’s site I look at and covet! I need this reminder every day. The internet is a wonderful thing but oh how much more there is to cover there 🙂
Someone very wise once told me “stop trying to be someone else, If you are not going to be you , then who will be?”
Bless you for your wise words and encouragement x
That is so right Tania. God put you just where you are today because he has plans for you just where you are today. You are walking in his will and he is fully delighted in that. A friend told me this week that all of our writing is an outpouring of perfume. We pour out and it is all a gift no matter what we get back. Thank you for your honesty. The funny thing is – no matter where we are in the journey there is always someone to covet. We never win. Much love to you. Keep being your amazing self!
This is exactly something I too have been dealing with when it comes to using my gifts for God’s glory. It’s so easy to get pulled in to the comparison game and compare what we have with someone else. Our women’s Bible study is on this topic as well!!
I’m writing a weekly devotional for our church’s running group and this week’s devo goes right along with your post about comparison!! (God’s timing for sure because I’d already written this post a while back and just made a few edits to it.)
God is speaking loud and clear to me about all of this. Instead of seeing other Christian women’s blogs as competition or comparison, we should see each of us as on a huge TEAM! We are all called to write the stories God has laid on our individual hearts for the unity of the church. We each reach people in our own portion of the world.
I so needed this reminder today and I thank you for being vulnerable enough to share your heart’s private moments with all of us. As a runner I have to run my own pace or I’ll burn out. And as a woman of faith who’s been called to write and encourage, I must “run” the unique pace God has called ME to……not someone else. God bless you Kellie for all you are doing. Your words of encouragement have spoken loud and clear to me. I count it a blessing to be on the same TEAM as you no matter how many followers anyone may have.
That is SO right Lisa. We are on the same team. I delight in this team. And you are right, it is not about numbers, visitors or blog posts per week – it is solely about what Jesus has called each one of us to. If we are faithful in that we are just as faithful as any other who filled their call. The Lord looks at our heart and I guess that is why I want my heart to get right on this. Much love to you. Your words are powerful and I am glad you are journeying through this with me. Much love to you Lisa.
Amen, Kelly! This is a slow lesson for me and one God has taught me over and over, but I can honestly say I am not the person I once was. Thank you, Jesus! Holding hands with you and all of my sisters today proclaiming, “To HIM be the glory, forever and ever!”
Yes, it is continual for me too Abby. It is so hard when we try so hard and give it our all not to compare. God is so good though that he does not judge us as the world does. What a relief! Much love to you Abby. I believe you please the Lord so much. He is faithfully revealing himself to you.
I’m a little late to the #RaRalinkup today but oh my it was worth the wait. Your words are the unspoken words in so many of our hearts. You said out loud and put words to our emotions when we wonder “why not us?” Your playground image was vivid in imagery because it is the perfect setting to be enticed by the enemy to come and hang out for awhile even though nothing about it is pure and honest. Thank you so much!
I appreciate you, your cheerleading for each of us and your bravery in speaking words that need to be spoken. Thank you friend!
Thank you Mary. I think this is one sin that I can embrace without letting go sometimes because it goes unseen and usually is not called out. It can really damage my perspective and relationship with the Lord. It is freeing to talk about it. Thank you Mary for being such an amazing support and encourager. I am so glad we met.
Great truths here — difficult, but so much needed, lessons to learn. It’s not about what we or anyone can do for Him, for without Him, we can do nothing. It is about allowing Him to work His unique and amazing plan in us. Thank you for the great post & for hosting, & God bless!
Thank you Laurie, it is a joy to host. I am blessed by your insight and by your words to me. How amazing is it to have him working an amazing plan in – and through – us? Cheering your heart and your love.
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Such a perfect message Kelly, thank you. I wrote about the comparison trap today as it’s something I’ve found myself falling into recently. I long to just be genuinely happy for my friends…I am a work in progress! 🙂
Thank you Sarah. It is a sneaky trap because it goes unseen. The only one who can call it out is the one who is living with it. I have found this encouraging linkup has done wonders for it. The more I pray for each of you the more I want you to succeed and genuinely care. Thank you for this comment!
Jealousy can sneak up so quickly, can’t it? It’s so easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves with others. We start to believe the lie that someone else can do or say it better and then start being down on ourselves and resent others. But there is room for all. God has made each of us unique and has given us words to say that others need to hear. Even if we think someone else does or says it more eloquently, we still need to speak the words He has given us. Someone, somewhere needs to hear them in just the way that we say them. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your heart. Keep writing! Keep encouraging.
That is so right Gayl. That is so right. Someone does need to hear them – just as we say them and just as we write them. God has called each one of us for a reason. You are filled with wisdom, sweet Gayl!
Great post Kel! The act of comparing…something you know I’ve struggled with and likely will continue to the rest of my life. It so easily takes our eyes off Him and His plan for our lives. Thank you for sharing His truths. I want His plan for my life…not someone else’s! 🙂
Thanks Christy. I am glad you enjoyed it. When we keep on eyes on Him, he keeps our paths straight. I know how it feels to compare. It is not easy. I SO love and appreciate that you commented here. Love you Christy!
Love you girl!
This is good. I have this condition sometimes too. It’s ugly, and it takes the joy out of life. It makes me much happier when I’m encouraging people and lifting them up. Thank you for sharing this.
I completely agree Dawn! Thank you so much for joining the Linkup! Have a great evening.
We were away as a family so I’m linking up on a Thursday night…your podcast was great…and I love your honesty here…and this: “The bottom line, my friends, is that when we covet another’s gifts, we end up ungrateful for our ours. We negate our all-loving, all-powerful and all-giving Father, who has a unique plan – that he created beforehand just for us.” Amen.
Link up whenever Dolly. I am just happy that you are here. Thank you for commenting and even reading my work. I am blessed by you for sure.
Thanks for the link up Kelly and your encouraging words too.
Ifeoma! We love having you.