Love does not envy. Envy is a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.
The more I compare, the less I see God. When I compare it often exposes my envy. It exposes my discontentment and longing for the things I do not have. It exposes my unmet expectations of life’s circumstances or relationships. My unmet expectations leave me feeling hurt and disappointed. They make God feel far away.
“Disappointment muffles God’s voice.” I recently heard Lysa TerKeurst say in a podcast.
Luke 9:20 The Jesus asked, “Who do you say I am?”
Jesus asked this question of his followers after he had just performed numerous miracles including just feeding the 5,000. I can forget who He is and just want my miracle. I want what I perceive others to have that I still desire. I want acceptance from people instead of from God.
Who I believe Jesus to be is a game changer. It changes who I believe I am.
I need courage to see past my envy, comparison and desire for acceptance of others.When I gave my heart to someone who could not accept me for all of who I am it made me compare myself to others, want to be “more” or “less than” so that I could be loved. Or when a teammate at work didn’t feel supported by me because I missed the mark of the expectations they had of me, I began to compare myself to people who are like what I think I should be as a leader at work. I began to crave acceptance over looking to my belonging, already received in God. I begin to envy others who I perceive having what I want. I can look at someone in a relationship and think, “Really, them God? That person is dating and I’m here again picking up the pieces of my broken heart? What’s wrong with me?” The answer is nothing. That doesn’t mean I don’t need to work on some things in my character to continually be better but it also does not mean that because I desire to do this work that I am somehow defected or unlovable or unworthy of leading. The way Jesus looks at me promises to fill me with courage, but it’s so much easier to see myself reflected in my circumstances than in His eyes. In envy I cannot see who Jesus is and therefore can’t access His love.
Perfect love drives out fear. Envy has me stuck in fear.
I cannot hear God when I am disappointed and I cannot see His blessings in my life when I am stuck in envy and comparison. Love does not envy because Love cannot.When I am disappointed as a result of my envy and comparing I get further and further away from how He sees me and who He says I am. I can even go as far as to make up scenarios in my head that fuel the rejection I so desperately fear.
When I misinterpret who He is I don’t trust and don’t seek His will. I want to take things into my own hands and circumvent His perfect plan.
In my disappointment I want to take control. I want to do things on my own terms and fix things myself, or worst, fix people. God has used this time to show me that no matter how much I try to fix and control, if it’s not His will it’s not going to happen. And I just end up exhausted trying. The only thing I can control is me. I have a choice, to love, or compare. I can choose to believe that He is who He says He is.
He is teaching me to exchange my perspective for His. It’s a daily battle. The prayer I pray for those I love most, to see themselves through His eyes, I have been challenged to pray for myself. I need to learn to rely on God’s strength and not use my disappointment to rely on my own strength.
God is the one who knows me, all of me. That is whom I long for and that is where I can attach my value without ever over burdening Him or losing myself in the process.
“The best love is the one that makes you a better person without changing you into someone other than yourself.” – unknown
After Jesus asked his disciples who he was and they answered correctly, he challenged them in versus 23-25, and laid some heavy stuff out for them about carrying their cross.
Luke 9:23-25 “Jesus said to all of them, “If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing to give up their lives daily to follow me. Those who want to save their lives will give up true life. But those who give up their lives for me will have true life. It is worthless to have the whole world if they themselves are destroyed or lost.”
This passage isn’t appealing to read. Yet, when we know the real Jesus and who we are in Him it changes everything. It changes the read of it completely. It’s kind of crazy.
When we understand and choose to believe who He is, we can live out of a deep love and are able to choose His way over our own. This is what I try to make my way back to even on days I struggle to believe and cry out for what I want. And in this strange way, that only God knows, by loosing myself in Him I find myself, the best version of me. I find myself good enough just as I am, I find myself deserving of love not because of anyone else’s approval or anything I do or do not do, but just for being myself. Love saves me, when I choose it.
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