On the day before Thanksgiving, when we are all supposed to be reflecting back over the past year and counting our blessings, why am I writing a blog post about jealousy? Well, let’s see…
Earlier this month, one writer friend of mine celebrated a very successful book launch. Yesterday, I got word that another fellow writer has signed with a well-known agent.
I’m happy for both of them (no, really, I am) but there’s still this little voice deep inside saying, “Why not me? When will it be my turn?”
Envy is part of the human condition. If we weren’t so prone to it, God would not have included, “Though shalt not covet,”in the Ten Commandments. We’ve all broken that one far more times than we care to admit.
Yet God describes Himself as a jealous God. If it’s okay for God to be jealous, why is it a sin for me to feel that way?
What occurs to me is that my jealousy is a sin precisely because He’s a jealous God. When I envy what He’s doing for somebody else, I place the thing I covet above my love for Him. It’s like saying, “I want the good gifts you give– especially those gifts over there– more than I want you, Lord.”
I remember the first time I realized how God felt about my envy of others’ successes. I was at a women’s leadership conference, surrounded by well-known speakers and writers. As I listened to their workshops and thumbed through their books, ugly jealousy bubbled up in my heart.
I went to the prayer room and got down on my knees, not to confess my envy, but to complain to God. “This is how I want to serve you, Lord. Why can’t I speak at a big conference like this? When do I get a book table?”
The Lord’s response blew me away. He didn’t chastise me for my sinful attitude. Instead, with a tone of sincere disappointment, He seemed to say, “Rebecca, don’t you want to see what I’ve got in store for you?”
I realized I would much rather walk alongside God into the amazing future He intends for me personally, than to wander off course in pursuit of the blessings He’s given to others.
It’s just that some days, I need a little reminder…