Green is not one of my favorite colors, although some of the off shades like sage, some chartreuse hues and the darker spruce green blends I find pleasing. However, for some reason the color green is used to depict an emotion that is not friendly and can even be deadly and cause many problems. I am certain you have heard the sayings, ‘green with envy’ and ‘bit by the green-eyed monster’.
Perhaps, if in all honesty, we could admit that we have dealt with jealousy at some time in our life. From the childhood, “I want what so and so has” or “How do they get such good grades” to “Wow, I’d do anything to get a car like they have,” some incidents are certainly more subtle than others. Nevertheless, jealousy stirs up something within us that is not healthy indicating our dissatisfaction and insecurities. As an only child for the first ten years of my life, my competitive personality was usually motivated by other’s successes. How disappointing to find that it still creeps in once in a while!
When you are my age, having been through some stuff while learning through my many mistakes, I would like to think that I am maturing as I continue on this faith walk. I am one of the somewhat ‘older’ women who can enjoy being available to help younger women along on their journeys. However, I was quite taken aback when I found myself bitten by the BUGG!
When a gal I know was going through a difficult season, she asked me if I would mentor her along. We have similar ministries, both very strong personalities and determined. I was surprised she had asked me but agreed, and so I began to pray for her and asked the Lord to grow all that she gave to Him. I realized that this girl had God’s favor all over her and she seemed to walk through open doors without a hitch. Her speaking ministry really opened up for her as did her radio ministry. I was so amazed at the way everything fell into place for her as she pursued her God-path. I was amazed and happy for her until I realized that I, too, was on a similar journey but seemed to remaining very stagnant. The growth was very minimal and all of a sudden I was bitten and began to be envious of her favor. I began to compare myself with her and wondered why it seemed I was unable to have God’s favor.
That transition within me cause a few things to take place and I was now uncomfortable around her and our relationship got strained. A gap grew between us and our friendship became reduced to formality. The next few years amazed me as I watched her grow and become ‘successful.’ The reality hit me that I was jealous of her. But wait a minute, I am the ‘spiritually mature’ one here, so that can’t be, I reasoned with myself. I was getting very tired of the battle raging within me and the Holy Spirit just would not leave me alone.
It was my birthday and out of the blue she surprised me by saying she would like to take me to lunch. I naturally wondered if this was supposed to be the time I would need to humble myself and confront my issue with her. I so wanted the misery of these feelings to disappear as I was having a hard time believing that I could have allowed this to happen. The fleece went out; she would contact me to plan our lunch date. If she remembered, I knew it was God’s timing to own up to my shortcoming. If she forgot then perhaps it would be another time or God might just let me keep this one between me and Him (ha, ha.) Needless to say, she called and we we had lunch a few days later.
We had a delightful time chatting away and I got all caught up on her journeys and all God was doing in her ministry. Then, as we were nearing the end of our time (I knew I had to be on air in 30 minutes), I told her I had something difficult to tell her. I admitted to being very envious of her success and asked her to forgive me. This became a God moment, as the huge wall of denial fell and suddenly I had such peace and love for her because that BUGG had been squeezing the life out of our relationship.
Wow! As uncomfortable as it can be, reconciliation is such a sweet experience. As Oliver Hazard Perry said, “We have met the enemy and they are ours.” Well, I faced the enemy of jealousy and through Christ he was now defeated! Peter tells us in 1 Peter 2:1 that as we become that “Living Stone and a Holy People…” we must “…put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.”
Father, will you help me to see when the enemy is messing with my emotions and help me to see without denial blocking the way to reconciliation. I really love the fact that You have made me, Kimberly, in Your image and I don’t need to compare myself to anyone else. May You be glorified as I rest my situations in Your hands to work out all the struggles to Your glory, in Your sweet name!