“I wish I was as _______ (skinny, beautiful, popular, bubbly, talented, etc.) as her.”
“They have the perfect life, while ours is always a struggle.”
“I’ll never be like him/her.”
“I want the things they have.”
They may be silent thoughts. Or words voiced aloud. Either way, they indicate envy. It’s hard to live a real life when we’re caught up in envy’s grip.
envy :: a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions, etc.
Some of us may never struggle with it, yet some of us battle it daily. Envy isn’t pretty, and it’s damaging to us and to our relationships. It hinders our relationship with God.
Envy keeps us from living a real life.
It stops us from embracing how unique God made us.
Remember Psalm 139:14 from our post two days ago? God made us unique. If we’re focused on wanting to be like someone else or to have what another has, we don’t appreciate the creative gifts God has given to us. Our center of attention shifts to what we don’t have instead of what we do have. It’s hard to be real when we can’t appreciate our uniqueness.
It blurs our vision of reality.
Look at this passage from Ecclesiastes 4:4, 6:
I have also learned why people work so hard to succeed: it is because they envy the things their neighbors have. But it is useless. It is like chasing the wind.
It is better to have only a little, with peace of mind, than be busy all the time with both hands, trying to catch the wind.
It’s hard to be real when we are consumed with striving.
It can cause a chaos-filled life.
Here’s a strong truth about envy (jealousy) from James 3:16 (VOICE):
Any place where you find jealousy and selfish ambition, you will discover chaos and evil thriving under its rule.
It’s hard to be real when we’re filled with chaos.
Real life escapes us when envy consumes us.
If you struggle with this, you’re not alone. There are days envy tries to slither its way in, and if I don’t stop it right away, it can overtake me. I recently failed miserably at doing so. I allowed envy to rise up within me to cause terrible thoughts of another’s success. It was awful. Those thoughts certainly didn’t honor God.
Is it possible to live a real life without envy? I believe it is. Praying for God’s eradication of this ugly discontent in our lives is the way to overcome it. When we pause to consciously thank God for blessing others and ourselves in different ways, we find real life again. And we get back to walking in the shoes God created for us on the path He’s designed for us. Me being me. You being you.
And, real life returns.
Let’s do all we can to steer clear from envy and its tangles. Real life is so much better!
Thank you for journeying alongside of me today on Day 4 of our 31 Days of Living a Real Life. You can find the prior posts here. Tomorrow we’ll visit the subject of comparison and how that plays a part in hindering our real-life living.