Sunday, April 21, 2013

Jealousy and envy are the terrible, ugly stepsisters in the story of Cinderella. Everyone knows that. So why do we bother to give them the time of day?

Because they’re so deceptively sympathetic when we’re hurt or angry. Oddly comforting, sweetly whispering in our ears that of course we have the right to be upset, who wouldn’t in our situation?

A friend’s spending time with other people, while we struggle with loneliness.

Being passed over for a promotion that in our eyes, we’ve rightly earned—and seeing it handed to someone who should have been in line after us. (Or at least after a friend who we felt deserved it more.)

When someone announces they’ve finished yet another manuscript, or painting, or quilt, while you scrape for time for your own creative endeavors. Or they’ve just signed with an agent, or have a book accepted for publication.

Any circumstance where we’ve been slighted or forgotten.

Those are the moments, when you ache for your perceived loss, that jealousy and envy steal to your side and wrap you in a blanket of their own brand of poison consolation.

It feels so good, at first. It’s comforting. It hurts to be passed over, left behind, ignored. And we forget how, once we let the jealousy and envy take hold, it sinks deeper, eating away at us until the initial hurt becomes a soul-deep sore.

Taking it to God is the only way to find true healing, at any point along the way. But the longer we wait, the more awful the scars that jealousy and envy leave behind.

And the stepsisters are wily indeed. They know how to speak what we want to hear, to offer what we think we need.

For me, it helps to remind myself of a thought from years ago ...

Consider the stars in the sky ... is the significance of one diminished because of the others? Do they waste time in vying for the 'best' position in the sky? Does Arcturus suffer jealousy just because it is not Polaris (the 'north star')?

I think not. The more stars we see, the more glorious the night sky appears. And not seeing the 'lesser' stars doesn’t mean they aren't there, or that they aren't significant ... they all burn brightly for their Creator. And I believe they are each fully aware of the significance of their place in the universe, and the glow we see is one of awe and gratitude to the One who set them in their places.

So let it be with us.

12 For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.... 17 But “he who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” 18 For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends. (2 Corinthians 10)

26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5)

For wrath kills a foolish man,
And envy slays a simple one. (Job 5)

30 ... envy is rottenness to the bones. (Proverbs 14, all NKJV)


  1. Thank you, Shannon. Just what I needed today.

  2. Aww, I'm glad it blessed you, Louise! The struggle never ends, does it?

    Have a wonderful day!


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