9.06.2013

My envious heart


"Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behaviour his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, fully of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."- James 2:13-18

It was the best weekend of my life. Everyone was sending so much love my way and I got to stare down at my left hand and marvel at my beautiful ring. I was getting married to the man well beyond my dreams and I couldn't be happier.

Slowly my joy started fading as I witnessed week after week, couple after couple getting engaged. My joyful heart started to sow a seed of bitterness. 

I started to compare.

Was my ring prettier? Why are "they" taking away my joy of getting engaged? Why is EVERYONE (literally I know 15 couples) getting engaged/married in 2013?

This seed of bitterness started to blossom and I didn't even know.

As months passed girls started to become better than me, I started to view my grades as a competition and my thankful heart turned into an envious one.

& it was such a slow fade.

At the start of the summer I was comparing myself to everyone and everything. Pinterest, facebook and instagram all became unhealthy addictions because I was constantly trying to measure up to something. I was trying to be better.

It started with little comments but after a while I knew my heart wasn't in the right place. Rather I was never satisfied, inwardly always complaining and never giving thanks to my Jesus who provides all things. He provides everything I need.

One evening after recognizing the damage I was doing to my soul and God's Kingdom I started to think about the path I was on.

There is always going to be someone prettier

Someone will always have a better engagement story and a more gorgeous wedding

Someone will always have a better house

better kids

better ministry

So what am I doing comparing? It's useless and a never ending downward destructive spiral. 

James 2:13-18 (also written above) states it perfectly

"Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behaviour his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, fully of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."

I love how scripture is relevant. I love how bluntly and harshly it applies to my selfish heart. I love how this scripture not only corrects but encourages me to strive for Godly wisdom.

I was extremely bitter and jealous and what was I doing- lying about it.

I was keeping it all in thinking it wouldn't spill out- Hah! It did the opposite. My wisdom was becoming earthly, natural and demonic. My envious heart was creating disorder in everything.

Falling on my face, realizing how much damage my envious heart was creating I begged God to forgive me (knowing He always will) and work with me on being thankful.

I want a thankful heart

I want wisdom from above that produces what James 2 says it will

It's a process but one I'm taking. I've started to make my life "less public." I've been praying about ways to do this to continue to create a thankful heart knowing now how much of a struggle it is.

I heard an amazing sermon that hit me so hard. The pastor said "stop waiting for what you want and start working with what you have."

This is where I'm at right now. I am so blessed. God has given me so much and I know He has given me these things to glorify His name. I want to start working with what God has given me and stop waiting for what I want- because as I've learnt- its a vicious downhill cycle that is never ending.

Have you experienced this envious heart? Is James 2 any encouragement to you? Would love to hear from you and any ideas of practising a lifestyle of thankfulness in a world of wants, wants wants. 

xx
Maddie




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