The Green-Eyed Monster

Today, I would like to talk about the infamous Green-Eyed Monster. Please don’t confuse this with The Green Monster, the thirty-seven foot high, left field wall at Fenway Park. I want to talk about that evil emotion that rears it ugly head when we see other people’s successes or advantages. I want to talk about JEALOUSY. Jealousy seems to target women at all stages of life. It starts at adolescence, when one child sees another child with a toy she doesn’t have, and although she already has plenty, she feels saddened that she doesn’t have that particular one.

Jealousy later continues into the teen years and into womanhood. Women, young and old alike, can be resentful of another’s physique, appearance, talents, clothes, economic status, and yes, even spiritual gifting. This list can go on and on.

Although this is a common emotion, it is an emotion that God does not approve of. The Bible speaks numerous times about having an attitude of contentment, being happy with what you have and not coveting what someone else has. The Word of God unmistakably teaches us in James 3:16 that,

“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” 

Jealousy leads us to do things that we normally wouldn’t do – things that we shouldn’t do. In an effort to feel better about ourselves, we tear down the person we are jealous of. We focus on all their shortcomings, just to rationalize, in our own head, why we aren’t as good in that particular area.

Or, we choose to chase after things that God didn’t intend for us. We place unrealistic goals and expectations on ourselves that we clearly can’t meet. Wanting to better yourself is admirable. Wanting to better yourself in order to measure up to someone else’s standards is dangerous territory. God’s standard is the only standard we should pursue.

Ladies, I want each of you to know that God has designed you uniquely. He has deposited a combination of qualities in you that no one on the planet has except you. There is a purpose for each of us, but we need to stop coveting and striving to be someone we are not.

Look at God's creations. Are the mountains any more beautiful than the sand covered beaches? Each creation is beautiful in its own way. Embrace your uniqueness. Stop trying to be the beach when you’re supposed to be the mountain.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful.” – Psalm 139:13-14

An Abundant Life

My favorite holiday, without a shadow of a doubt, is Thanksgiving. There are no gifts involved, excessive cookie baking to do, or elaborate decorations to hang. It is simply a day to come together with family and friends and celebrate God’s faithfulness. Every year, my entire family gathers around the dining room table with enough food to feed an entire football team. Some time after the salad and stuffed bread, but before the turkey, we participate in a beloved annual tradition – the passing of the talking stick. My kids made this feather-adorned stick during their preschool days. Whoever is holding the stick simply needs to state what he or she is thankful for.

It doesn’t sound like much, but it is my favorite part of the entire day. My heart overflows with joy as I hear the different blessings each person wants to thank God for. Some are recited through tears, others read from a prepared list, but all come from a heart of gratitude and contentment.

“They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness”

Psalm 145:7

In all our years of participating in this ritual, it’s interesting that not once did I ever hear anyone thank God for money, things, or prestige. Typical thanks include the love and support received from family and friends, for health and safety, and for special memories that were made. Because when it is all said and done, these are the only things that matter. These are the characteristics of an abundant life.

Ladies, we need to remember this truth as we “do life.” We need to stop looking for happiness in the acquisition of things. We need to invest more time in doing the things that we love with the people we love.

There is nothing wrong with having things, as long as we realize that true contentment comes from the things that don’t have a price tag. And those are the things that God graciously provides for an abundant life. And that is something to truly be thankful for.

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." - Psalm 100:5-6

Happy Thanksgiving!