I was tired. Burnt-out. Running a million miles a minute to try to do it all, do it perfectly, and live up to all the expectations. In all my running around I’d run out of time to make God a priority and it showed. I was short-tempered, stressed out, miserable, and confused.
Why was I doing it all?
What was I working toward?
Why wasn’t anything working out like I expected?
So I started looking around to see what everyone else was doing. What was she doing that made it look so easy? What were they doing to get those opportunities? Where was she writing/speaking/traveling to get so noticed and so…invited?
I thought it would be inspiration. Instead it was like inviting a wrecking ball to come take a swing at my house and hoping it would miss. Wrecking balls don’t miss and inspiration can turn to envy when you aren’t grounded in who God made you to be.
I wasn’t. I was grasping for something to make me feel valued – not another role or responsibility, but truly valued and included. Without spending time with God to discover where He wanted me to find my value, I missed out on the joy of being who He made me to be while I was trying to be like someone else.
How do you know you have more jealousy than joy in your life?
You see friends share good news and you resent them.
You have good news to share and you hold it closely, assuming others will be jealous.
You worry more about what others are doing than doing what God has called you to do.
You filter everything you do through a “what’s in it for me” perspective.
You assume people are thinking the worst of you while you struggle to assume the best of them.
You secretly wonder “why her” as you scroll through your social media feeds.
You feel left out all the time.
Maybe it’s something else for you. Those were just a few of my own indicators that something was off balance. Because when we’re really in Scripture (which we will be for the next few days) and we really understand the kind of relationship God asks us to have with Him and with the people He puts in our lives, we’ll find ourselves responding differently to those situations. Where there was jealousy, we’ll find joy. Where we felt left out, we’ll feel settled. Instead of asking “what’s in it for me,” we’ll look for ways to ask “how can I support her?”
That’s not to say there aren’t situations that hurt. We’re human, and we’re in relationship with humans – flawed, broken people who sometimes don’t have our best interests at heart. They’ll brag about themselves, not celebrate with us the way we wished they would, expect far too much from our friendships, and say “yes” to opportunities that should have come our way.
I’ll share with you what I share with my four-year old. You worry about you. You do what God is asking you to do, discover where He wants you, and treat others the way He commands. Then pray and ask God to work in the hearts of the people He’s called you to be in relationship with. Ask God to heal your heart as He reveals when He wants you to stay – and when He releases you from an unhealthy relationship. Trust Him, and ask for wisdom.
When we settle in to our lane, running our race the way God intends, serving the people God has for us in our personal ministry, what she does won’t be threatening – it will be thrilling. And we’ll joyfully do the work we know we’re called to do.
- What does jealousy look like in your life?
- Are you doing anything right now that is in someone else’s lane?
- Do you feel settled where God has you or are you wishing for more?
Jamie S. Harper says
What a great series idea!
I am loving your series and it’s helping me already. Keep writing 🙂
Michelle Short says
I generally don’t struggle with jealousy because I had a mother who taught me well. She was the very embodiment of all the things on the list. She was never content with her life because she was in such bondage to constant comparison. And sadly she never had any close female friends because she saw other women as competitors. Thanks for the warning about the damage a jealous spirit can do. Your words are a blessing!
Amber Taube says
The struggle is REAL for a missionary overseas comparing myself to other missionaries/moms doing it all and then those back home who seem to have it all. Sticking with you, Crystal. I need this!
Crystal, I remember feeling like this when I was younger. I’ve come along way.
Susan Chamberlain Shipe says
This is getting really good – it started out good but now it’s better but not as good as it will be. Looking forward.
kirstin troyer says
love the questions that make us go hmmmm. Thanks.
Crystal Stine says
I’m so glad you like them – I wasn’t planning on doing them but couldn’t help myself 🙂
Love the thought provoking questions, Crystal! Ouch!
Crystal Stine says
Vonda Hecht says
Another good one! This has been me far too many times. So thankful that God can and will open our eyes.
Crystal Stine says