Monday, May 26, 2014

How to Uproot Jealousy

I lived with jealousy for years.

Every time I saw the Lord use one of my friends, I would fight these feelings of jealousy.
Friends who I loved dearly and lived life with and admired so much.

Oh the shame that came with that envy!

If I saw a friend leading a bible study and being praised for her efforts…jealousy.
If I saw a friend using her gifts and creating beautiful art or designs…jealousy.
If I saw a friend singing at Church...especially a song I loved…Jealousy.
If I saw a friend telling her story and applauded for her bravery…Jealousy.

I never admitted to my jealousy. I felt the envy, but I couldn't understand it and I would push the feelings away and pretend they weren't real.

I was jealous of my friends and I didn't know why.

I was so ashamed. I was happy for their success, for their bravery, for their gifts. I was in awe of them, sincerely so.

But that twinge…it pricked my heart and I felt so guilty.

I prayed, “Lord take those feelings away. I don’t understand them.
I don’t like feeling this way, because all it does is make me feel worse than I already do.”

In Genesis, we see the best example of what jealousy is and can become:

Joseph, tells his brothers and Father his dream of the sun and moon and stars bowing down to him.

But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father wondered what the dreams meant” Genesis 37:11.

A little while later, jealousy overwhelms all his brothers and they sell Joseph into slavery.

Joseph had dreams. He had gifts. He had callings. He had a purpose for his life given to him by the almighty God.

Joseph may have been a little cocky.
Maybe he always got his way since he was “the favorite.”

But I think the main reason for his brothers’ jealousy was the fact that he was not only outspoken about his dreams, but because if he wasn't already using his gifts, his brothers, I believe, knew that one day he would. They knew that there was something special about Joseph…his dreams and callings were evident in his life somehow and that is what brought out the jealousy more than anything else.

And that is what brought out my jealousy.

When I would see friends, walking and living out God’s gifts, talents and callings on
their lives, that is what would make me jealous.

I wasn't jealous that God was using them,
I was jealous of the fact that He wasn't using me.

For years, I didn't use any of my gifts.
For years, I wasn't passionate or purposeful about anything.

I had my babies and I was busy being mom and wife and I believed I didn't have time for anything else.

I stopped writing because I couldn't keep up with it.
I stopped singing because I couldn't stay committed to it.
I stopped sewing because I didn't have time for it.
I stopped teaching because I didn't have energy for it.

I was living each day without any passion or purpose.
I was living each day drowning in the mundane and monotony of being mom.

I believe that there is faithfulness in that monotony. He calls me to the mundane and monotony and He makes it beautiful. He is and was teaching me faithfulness in that monotony of motherhood. He is teaching me to be a servant in motherhood.

But, God placed other dreams and gifts and passions in my life to be used and purposed for His kingdom and I was not using them. At. All.

Others were and I was jealous.

God wanted to use me. He wanted to use the gifts He had given me.

In that jealousy and shame, I cowered to the belief that I wasn't good enough.
My gifts weren't as good as theirs; why would He want to use me?

He has given you so much more to offer and you are walking in disobedience if you aren't using His gifts.

Like the servant in the bible who was given one talent and when the master came and said what did you do with the talent I gave you, he says, “…I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground.” Matthew 25:25 ESV

If what you do with His gift is bury it, not invest in it and live out its worth, you are walking in disobedience to the One who gave you that talent.

“For everyone who has will more be given and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” Matthew 25:29

We must all give our gifts to God and use them in whatever capacity that we can.

If you sing, get on the praise team.
If you cook, host people at your table.
If you are an encourager, gather women around you.
If you write, start a blog!

He wants you to use your gifts that He has given you. Don’t hide them in the ground like I did and allow jealousy to overwhelm you because you aren't walking in your dreams and passions.

I know motherhood can be overwhelming.
I know that the idea of taking one more thing on can be daunting.

Yet, if you are walking in what He has gifted and called you to, believe me, you will thrive.

He will give you the strength and the power to do what He has called you to.
He will use it for His glory. All you have to do is say, ‘Here I am Lord,’ and He will be faithful to you, because you are being faithful to Him.

“So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are Gods field, Gods building…Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:7-9 ESV.

Water your gift, God will give the growth. The jealousy will fade because you are His fellow worker and your foundation is in Jesus Christ.

Beloved, find your passions, walk in them, use them, don’t bury them but allow them to uproot that jealous spirit and be fulfilled in the callings Jesus has placed on you.


Janet said...

Wow! This reminds me of the passage in John 21 where Peter looks at John and asks Jesus, "What about him?" We just have to keep our focus on the business God has given us to do, celebrating His pleasure as we do. Thank you for your honesty. I appreciated this post.

Pamela said...

Amen! Excellent writing but more than that, the truth rings clear. Jealousy starts so many other sins. I'm learning to embrace who I am in Christ or, as you put it so well, "be fulfilled in the calling Jesus has placed on you."

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