Envy in the Light

It came barreling across my Twitter feed a few weeks ago.  How a fellow blogger was going to be featured on THAT website. (You know, the one on which you’ve been dying to guest post)?  It started small, just a barely-there thought and I tried to stuff it back from where it came.  I gave myself every lecture known  about how envy is wrong and even entertaining the notion of “why not me” was a sure fire way of needing to beg repentance later.

So I stuffed and poked and tried to push it back, but it overpowered me.  It amazes me,really, how quickly envy spreads.  How the emotional response grows disproportionately to the event and we are left with a heart-full of inadequacy and a burning desire to pack it all in because what’s the point anyway.

It amazes me how one person’s fortune suddenly turns our own happy-I-feel-so-blessed existence into not enough.  Finding ways to rejoice with your friend is hard when you’re choking on jealousy.  It’s hard to look past the very thing that you wanted, THE only thing that would make your life complete and see that we are all part of the same Body and that God is working in all of us.

I know that I am not the only one who struggles with this.  I’ve been part of conversations and I’ve wiped up virtual tears when the lies we believe speak louder than the truth.  I have witnessed how we all reach out and cover each other in prayer.  Whisper  our sisters’ names into God’s ear and ask Him to be near.  We beg that He show us how He pursues.

And then He does – He answers.  In a way that makes us envious. And then we hide. 

So I got to thinking, what if hiding these emotions, pretending that they didn’t exist was actually what made them grow bigger and stronger and louder.

Bigger, stronger, louder than the truth.

And I may be going out on a limb here, and please feel free to correct me, as I am trying to stumble through these thoughts, but I think that as women we tend to hide from negative emotions.  We believe, or have been taught, that those things that aren’t beautiful about the way that we feel should be tucked away so that our exteriors only show grace and joy.

In the meantime our hearts become a raging inferno of righteous (or unrighteous) indignation and before you know it the heat of that fire and all that false pretence begins to show the ugly cracks.  Envy, jealousy, discontent (insert your own word here), bleeds out and smears our Christ-likedness.

It seems somewhat awkward to write the next phrase but  – what if we were intended to, just for a moment, confess our disappointment out loud.  I don’t know.  It’s just a thought.  I do know however, that last week, when I gave a voice to how I was feeling light began to shine on those parts of me that I ever so carefully hide in the crags and corners.  The ones I hide behind my clever Tweets and Pinterest Pins.

When I said those words, spoke of my envy out loud to God, it became a redemptive moment. And, I am ever so grateful it is in kindness that He leads us to repentance.

He began to strip away the lies and refine the truth so IT became louder than the doubt and discontent.  God showed me that even though this wasn’t my good news, he HAD answered my prayer – the one I spoke on behalf of my soul sister.

Community is so much more than sharing our joys and triumphs – it’s about a healing of hearts.   It’s about speaking our fears, our doubts, and yes even our envy out loud.  In order for hurts to be healed within the Body of Christ, wounds have to acknowledged and shown the light (1 Corinthians 12:26).  We all suffer together and we all rejoice together.

So brave sister, the one reading this and wishing the earth would open you up and swallow you whole because you feel ashamed?   Be encouraged,  we all have those moments, we all come to a place of ugly thoughts and un-Christ like behaviour, you are not alone.  Speak loud sister, confess to Him, and let Him show you the way back to joy and contentment.

 


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