Are you ready to deal with your envy? Here are 3 ways to have less envy…
1. Forget Comparing
The Bible tells us that it is not wise to compare ourselves to others. We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves…. 2 Corinthians 10:12
We can become so preoccupied with comparing ourselves to other people and what they have that we lose sight of what we have. No matter how good you are in an area, you can always find someone who does something better than you do it, has more of something than you have of it, or I more talented in an area than you are, There’s always going to be somebody who is stronger, faster, smarter, richer, prettier, and bigger than you are! There’s always going to be somebody who can close deals easier, sing better, speak better, sell better, tell jokes better, manage their money better, you name it, there’s somebody who can do whatever you do and do it better in the opinion of at least one other person. Even world-class record holders find that their records are usually broken during their lifetimes and often within a few months or years.
Comparison is futile and it brings feelings of low self-esteem. If everything is a contest and you HAVE to first life will be full of letdowns. We need to be the best we can be but be aware that someone else’s best at times will be better than our best. That doesn’t mean that your best is not appreciated or needed. Some may excel beyond what we can, they will make more money, have better kids, have a more romantic spouse, have more lucky breaks. If we don’t accept the fact that we can’t have everything our way, envy will destroy me on the inside.
2. Focus on Your Blessings
As we mentioned earlier if we are too concerned with what others have, we can easily forget to be thankful for what we have.
John 1:16 reminds us that “because of God’s grace we have been given one blessing after another.” We need to spend time thinking about our blessings or even counting them if you can. I think of the song, the old hymn “Count your blessings, name then one by one! Count your many blessings see what God has done!”
I often encounter people who are envious of others homes. Here is a cure, work in a homeless shelter for a while, help out in an area that has been ravaged by a hurricane, flood or tornado. Go on a Global Outreach trip, it never fails you will come back seeing that you have so much! When I got back from Nepal last week, I literally felt like kissing the ground. We HAVE SO MUCH! We are minority percentage, to be an American is to be wealthier and have more materially than 98% of the world’s population. How can we be envious when we realize that? We need open our eyes to really how blessed we are.
Some are envious of other people’s bodies, here’s a cure volunteer at a rehabilitation hospital helping those who have lost limbs or ability to use them, work at a burn unit with those badly burned and see if you are not blessed. See if your eyes are not opened.
Some of you are envious of others mentally here’s a cure; just go to hang around some Aggies, go to College Station, TX your eyes will be opened. (As an Aggie I appreciate Aggie jokes!)
3. Focus on Being Christ-like
This is what we are all about as a church “To KNOW Christ and GROW to be like Him” One of our core values is “Christ-likeness”
In my own life I remember some key turnarounds. In high school there was a point where I was consumed by what others were wearing that I didn’t have, that some of the football players were faster than I was, that some of the football players could bench press more than I could, that some of the guys had more girls interested in them. The coaches/teachers liked them better. It was a prison! By my junior year, I decided “I am going to follow Christ! That is where my thoughts will be, my energy will be.” I was just tired. I found several things that I did not count on. I was more at peace in myself, and I got along with people better.
Then when I went college and before long fell back into my old ways, wondering why my roommates had better cars, better clothes, more money from their parents, why some guys had more girls interested in them. Back in prison! Then I got back into focusing on Christ, went to church, bible studies, mission trips and serving… what peace awaited me. This verse speaks to volumes …
Titus 3:3-4 “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared…
At one time we all act foolishly, deceived, enslaved, full of envy but when the kindness and love of Christ our savior comes in our lives. Man what a difference!
If we focus on being Christ-like we are focusing on something bigger than someone else’s house, someone else’s car, someone else’s career, someone else’s money. When we focus on Christ this other stuff doesn’t mean that much.
For more about the series, The Mess Inside, go to www.ridgefellowship.com