Hello there! Things in the world have become a level of crazy, panic and pandemonium like I have only ever seen once before, Sept 11 & 12, 2001. I have accepted this crazy COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting quarantine, no school, no toilet paper situation for what it is. I pray that you have as well!!!! Or that you are doing as well physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually as you can!
I am writing this post as it is something that has been on my heart and mind over the past few months due to other personal situations that are beyond my control and honestly, beyond my simple, human, understanding. Life is full of these types of situations no matter our age, experience, wisdom level and where our hearts happen to be at any given time. Right??? How do we respond? How do we outwardly deal with these characteristics, actions or passive-aggressive showings of envy, jealousy and otherwise hurtful situations when we do not understand where or why they happen?
I am a woman, daughter, sister, mom, friend who strives to assure those around me are encouraged, uplifted, loved and feel so much "cheering on" from me that often I get a real life kick in the gut, punch in the face, however you describe the hurt that comes from those you are cheering on "turning" against you and those gifts you cherish within yourself. In this century, specifically this current decade of the world, we see, hear and project "Support one another," "Lift up fellow women," "Spread kindness around like glitter," "BE the change you want to see in the world," "Be the good," there are so many fluffy sayings and mottos out there. ****PLEASE KNOW, I AM NOT AT ALL MINIMIZING THE ABSOLUTE GOODNESS OF THESE IDEALS!****
Here is my question, do we DO these things or just SAY them?
Do we REALLY cheer someone on? Do we REALLY believe and practice what we shout? Do we REALLY celebrate our friends and their gifts, accomplishments OR do we roll our eyes and passive-aggressively try to sabotage because of envy or jealousy?
We use those two words interchangeably today, YET, they are different! They are 2 different words and those are two different "things."
I have really had to pray about this type of situation(s) A LOT lately! And seemingly, from different directions from different people in my life or who I thought was "in my life" and those who I thought would or were "cheering for me" in the same way I was for them. NEWS FLASH!!!!!!!!!!!! Apparently, not at all what I thought was true.
Let's define these two words.
ENVY: (N) feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities or luck.
(V)Desire to have a quality, possession or other desirable attribute belonging to someone else.
----Envy is wanting what someone else has--------
JEALOUS(y): ADJ. feeling or showing ENVY of someone or their achievements and advantages.
----Jealousy is the fear that what you have will be taken away by someone else or the fierce protectiveness of one's rights or possessions.
So, jealousy is the manifestation of envy.?.?.? Or are they the same? Interesting thought. After pondering these thoughts, definitions and characteristics, I had to pray and seek the answers I was needing.
James 3:14-16 (NIV) "But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice."
Read that again!!!!! What does that mean? Let's break it down.....
Bitter-envy and selfish ambition-These words refer to someone who has a contentious, fight-provoking manner. (passive aggression?) This can mainfest in so many different ways, can't it? Back-biting, underhanded "pointing out", calling someone out in a very public way that is uncalled for only to make yourself look good, in authority or "in charge?" Can it also look like someone telling lies about you to make themselves "look" like a victim by "your doing?" I believe it can.
Do not boast about or deny the truth-So, if bitter envy and self-ambition are driving forces behind one's actions, then scripture says they should not deceive anyone about how wise they are.Yet, isn't that what they are doing by speaking lies, twisting truth, back biting or using public humiliation to make themselves look "good," "better than," or "more than" their target???
Earthly-Having this life on earth only in view
Unspiritual (Sensual)-having for its object the gratification of the passion and animal(human) propensities
Demonic-I don't think I need to define this......NOT OF GOD, NOT GODLY, NOT CHRIST-LIKE.......Let's remember the enemy (Satan) roams the earth seeking what he can steal, kill and destroy.
Disorder and every evil practice-If the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodnes and self-control, then fruit of the human spirit or "earthly wisdom," the flesh and the enemy will always result in disorder, chaos and every evil thing.
Proverbs 19:5 (NIV)-"A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will not go free."
Proverbs 14:30 (NIV)-"A heart at peace gives life to the body, ENVY rots the bones."
My interpretation of Proverbs 14:30--Just be!!!! Thank God for YOUR gifts and YOUR blessings. Use those for His glory in YOUR own ways! Do not compare, downgrade, insult, humiliate or use lies to draw attention to yourself or make others look "less than." This is not helpful. It is NOT cheering someone on. What does it accomplish to speak all of the good, but practice bitter envy? NONE!
I struggle with this so very much. I realize and understand that the only actions (reactions) I can control are my own. Therefore, I struggle with being the one who walks away, stays quiet and moves on, yet continue to cheer others on even in the dark and silent background. They do not have to know. Right? God tells me to pray for my enemies. Wait, what? How do I pray for someone who has caused heartbreak, hurt, told lies, been very passive-aggressive in their outward, earthly, sometimes, downright mean ways? I just do! That is how I cheer them on!!!! That is how we can remove ourselves from their world and be obedient to God all while having a heart that is at peace and gives life to your body!!!!!
But, Shalon!!!! Forgive and forget. Turn the other cheek. You must forgive to be forgiven. Yes, we are told to forgive in order to be forgiven. However, God does NOT tell us in His love letter that we have to forgive and return to the same situations in order to be treated the same ways we have forgiven others for in the past. I completely believe that (1) God knows my heart. He knows whether I have forgiven the one(s) who have hurt me in those "human" ways.(2)As I continue to seek God and His wisdom and ways of dealing with these situations, often He lets me know that removing myself from those relationships or situations is OKAY!!!!! If I am constantly having to deal with continual hurt and despair, how is that drawing me closer in my walk with God, my Father? If I am constantly feeling hurt and down because of other people's actions and words, how does that grow my faith, my love for others, my active practicing of my faith and example in and of Jesus? It doesn't!!!!!
I encourage you to BE THE LIGHT!!!!! Be the one who cheers others on. BE THE GOOD! We all have limits and we all have those people and moments in life that are exhausting. I get it! I do! I encourage you to pray about those who persecute you, those who are not cheering you on, even though you have tried to cheer them on or celebrate them! You only have control over YOU not them! You can only control your own actions and reactions. If being the good or cheering someone on from a distance is the best way for you, DO IT!!!!! Do not let envy, yours or anyone else's, rot your bones!!!!!
You are made for a purpose, a DIVINE purpose. There is NO ONE ELSE LIKE YOU! YOU have amazing gifts that should be celebrated and I am thankful for YOU and YOUR gifts!!!!! I celebrate you, pray for you and am here cheering you on!!!!!
Daughter, Sister, Wife, Momma, Friend, Warrior Princess, Sold out follower of Christ. There is more to me than meets the eye. A beautifully broken, messy, loving, imperfect woman praying to inspire others to find the JOY in this Joy-ney we call life!