i compare myself all the time. i compare myself against my friends, against the people i see on instagram, and against where i used to be when i think i've changed for the worse.
we all know that comparison is the thief of joy, but what i've come to learn is that comparison is also the invitation to envy. envy is the extension of comparison that usually pronounces itself in the phrase, "i'd do anything to/for _______." Fill in the blank with whatever it is you're wishing you had.
take a second to read over these verses and what i think about them:
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
love doesn't envy: this means we can't fully love the people we are jealous of. the whole point of christianity is to love regardless, and this jealously and envy blocks us from being able to walk in love in the way God intends us to.
30 A heart at peace gives life to the body,
envy destroys us. take a second to reflect here. how have you felt envy in your life? how has it affected you? if you want to live fully and faithfully you need to be at peace and the envy you are feeling is holding you back from fully resting in that peace.
okay, that makes sense, but what are the actual steps that need to be taken in order to find that peace? thankfully, the bible prepared us for this question with the answer within a couple of verses:
2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
this is why are jealous. we envy something and decide to go after it through our own means. when it fails, we remember that all we need to do is to ask God for it, and our prayers will be answered. here's the trick: God doesn't give us what we want if it comes from a place of envy. we get what we want when we have our values lined up with what God has planned for us. we get what we want when all we want is to live the life God is calling us to live.
the next time you begin to feel envious or begin to compare yourself to someone else or to what you are lacking, stop and pray. don't pray to obtain whatever it is you are looking for, but instead ask for confidence in His plan for you and for peace in your calling.