4 Ways You Can Combat Envy

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You CAN Combat Envy

Have you ever stood in a hallway, giddy with hope as the team results are posted?

The white 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper hangs neatly on the painted concrete block wall, double-sided tape securing it well. Your finger runs down the list of names. Your heart thumps wildly as you scan the list.

Surely, I’m on here.

Your finger finds its way to the bottom of the list.

Your smile fades.

Your name is missing.

You’ve not been chosen.

Your heart sinks as rejection soars. Then, you begin to resent those names well on their way to list-making and team history.

Envy makes its entrance.

You snort with a retort, “Surely I’m better than Sally Sue.”

And you walk away, hurting and burning from rejection’s flicker, fighting against envy’s blaze.

It can happen on a team, with an award, as you seek a promotion, or maybe even in a place of ministry or the church.

Do you battle envy?

It’s an ugly thing, something we’ve likely all wrestled with at one time or another.

Envy and I wrestled years ago concerning an award. I “just knew” my project had sealed the deal as I walked into the banquet with a proud excitement. But another name was called for the award. The smell of “sneer” filtered through the air.

Petty, really. So.not.God.

Other situations shook me as well. They certainly didn’t “feel” petty. Maybe your situations don’t either?

I look back now and think why? The “winners” weren’t the enemy. Their success wasn’t either. The devil was (and is).

I wasn’t wrestling with “them”, I was wrestling with the sin that wars within.

A tussle with envy is a wrestle in spiritual warfare. Click To Tweet

Rejection fueled the green-eyed monster of envy. Or maybe it was the other way around? Either way, neither are friends.

The wayward emotional response was simply evidence of envy’s presence.

I wanted to make that team – for me.

By golly, I wanted that award – for me.

Do you see it? Our wants are often “for me”. What’s for Jesus?

Our uproar indicates a heart issue, a need for surgery of the Great Physician kind. After all, outward uproars often indicate inward heart conditions.

Outward uproars often indicate inward heart conditions. Click To Tweet

Envy isn’t a spiritual friend. It rots to the bone. So let’s do something about it, okay?

Here are 4 ways to combat envy:

 

1. Compare ourselves only to the plans of One.

God has plans. Why not look to those and trust Him?

After all, the nose and the finger are both important but have vastly different roles. Could you imagine a nose pecking away on the keyboard? Ummm…yeah, err, no. Don’t be a nose trying to peck on a keyboard, okay?

If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the smelling be? 1 Co. 12:17 WEB Click To Tweet

2. When jealousy rolls, sweep it away with “But God says…”

Use the Word to combat wayward feelings. Because feelings? They’re often written with the pen of fiction. Keep ’em in check with a stroke of truth via Jesus.

Then Jesus said to him, “Get behind me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and you shall serve him only.’”Matthew 4:10 NIV Click To Tweet

3. Pray

Pray for “them”, the situation, and ourselves. Then find thanks.

Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus toward you. 1 Thes. 5:17-18 WEB Click To Tweet

 

4. Cheer On Others

Cheer for those who “made the team”. Offer congratulations or a word of thanks to the Lord. It’s all good.

Rejoice with those who rejoice. Weep with those who weep. Rom. 12:15 WEB Click To Tweet

Be encouraged. Envy has nothing on God.

As I tell my kids, “Be the best you God has made. No one else can do it.”

Be the best you God has made. No one else can do it. Click To Tweet

So whether we make the team or not, whether we’re “A” listers or “B”, let’s cheer others on in the name of Christ.

Let’s pray often.

Let’s remember and rejoice in the truth of God’s Word.

And let’s walk in God’s plan as we give a swift spiritual kick to combat envy.

The life of the body is a heart at peace, but envy rots the bones. Prov. 14:30 WEB Click To Tweet

 

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20 Comments

  1. I love this: “But God says…” _ Yes! Speaking truth is sooo important when we fight these jealous and envious feelings.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Truth trumps wayward feelings every time, Sarah. Boy, am I thankful for that. It’s too easy to be a mess otherwise. 🙂

  2. Kristi, all I can say is Wow!! So much truth in this post. I loved this…”Use the Word to combat wayward feelings. Because feelings? They’re often written with the pen of fiction. Keep ’em in check with a stroke of truth via Jesus.” Yes!! Feelings are fickle. They will eventually change (like every 5 seconds!). They cannot be trusted! Such a great reminder.

  3. Love this, Kristi. It’s hard to stay envious when you’re wholeheartedly cheering right. I try to remind myself how much I truly appreciate when others rally around me, so that I can be that person for others. Mutual admiration and support is so sweet!

  4. Thanks for this practical truth, Kristi. We’ve all experienced envy, haven’t we. I like the suggestion of cheering others on. Even if I don’t feel like it at first, as I do it, I change, and I become genuinely happy for them.

  5. Yes! Saving this one on my Conquering Comparison Pinterest board for future reference. Envy and comparison go hand in hand, don’t they? Love this wise advice, friend.

    1. Yes, indeed. There are vital parts to the church, just as there are vital organs causing the body to live. Thanks for popping in, Michelle.

  6. Kristi, this is super. Envy comes to call way too easily, doesn’t it. Just like gratitude is the perfect antidote for grumbling, #4 helps us switch gears as we claim the role of encourager instead of envy-er.

    Thanks for going there today. Such good stuff …

  7. Such wisdom here, Kristi! That last part is often the hardest for me… cheering someone on who got the part I wanted. But that is seeking other’s interests above my own. That is humble and loving. Thanks for your words! xo

    1. It is hard for me too, Liz. I’ve found cheering others on shuts down envy almost immediately. Love your honest comment. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. I love this post Kristi! This is so true. It is so hard to do; but, I agree. Cheering others on certainly helps knock that envy right out of there (along with a lot of praying)!!! Isn’t envy a horrible feeling?

    1. Envy truly is an awful feeling, which makes it even odder how we sometimes feel desperate to hold onto it. May Jesus reign! Thanks for visiting and joining in the conversation, Karen.