Today’s post is based on chapter 4 of my latest book, Newness of Life, recently released on Amazon. Read on for a chance to win a free copy.
It’s time to kill the hidden sins in my heart. The ones I don’t voice to the world, because they would make me seem petty and mean. The sins I hold closely and keep feeding with self-pity.
But I’m taking a chance and revealing one of those hidden sins to you today.
My hidden sin is jealousy.
When I get caught up in the whirlwind of this busy (and expensive) season of raising three children, I start a secret comparison game.
She’s going on vacation…again this year…and we haven’t taken one since 2013.
She’s got a beautiful new outfit on…again…and mine always come from the clearance rack or consignment sales.
She’s looking so slim…and I haven’t got my steps in today, again.
She’s so successful…and I am still just a secretary.
Is it just me, or does jealousy rear its ugly head in your heart too?
The funny thing is, I have felt the sting of others’ jealousy in the past. In high school and college, girls told me outright they were jealous of my talents and academic achievements. They let my gifts stand in the way of creating connection. I was bewildered by their comments–I was simply being myself, an artist and scholar. I wasn’t trying to offend anyone, and I wasn’t bragging. Their jealousy killed the chances of us ever having friendship. And I promised myself not to let others’ gifts get in the way of friendship.
But I don’t always keep that promise. My jealousy sets a barrier between me and potential friends now. Jealousy keeps me isolated and discontent.
How am I killing this sin of jealousy?
By practicing thankfulness. Every time I genuinely thank God for my current situations, my jealousy weakens. Sure, we don’t travel as much as I would like. But my income provides for our children to attend a private Christian school, which is vitally important. And my job allows me to stay at home with them on holidays and in the summer, which is a blessing others don’t have. I must treasure my current situation to stay out of the comparison trap. I want to overflow with thankfulness (Colossians 2:6-7) rather than discontentment.
By resting in God’s provision. As my children grow so quickly, they constantly need more clothes and more food. I often worry about this and jealously compare myself to others who don’t appear to have those worries. When I turn to Matthew 6:25-34, I feel settled and I cease striving for answers. I reflect on how God has always provided in the past, and renew my trust that He will continue to provide for the future.
By delighting in God’s design. I haven’t been skinny since second grade, and skinny is not God’s design for my body. I’m tired of comparing myself to willowy shapes. I’m working to accept my pear shape and make healthy choices, and I’m believing that I am fearfully and wonderfully made by God (Psalm 139:14).
By trusting in God’s timing. Even though I have big dreams, I don’t know when they will come to life. I am in a season of obscurity, and I’m trusting that God’s timing is perfect. Being jealous of others’ time in the light is stunting my character growth. I must trust that God is working out his plans in my current season (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Questions for reflection: (please comment below)
Do you also struggle with the hidden sin of jealousy? How are you killing it?
Giveaways will be announced on Fridays. If you comment on my blog or in my online Bible study throughout this study, you’ll be entered to win prizes on Jan. 13, Jan. 20, and Jan. 27. All comments will be entered to win the grand prize on Feb. 3.
This week’s winner will receive a copy of Edie Wadsworth’s book All the Pretty Things and a magnet set of these beauties:
Enter this special giveaway to receive a free download of Newness of Life!
My new book Newness of Life will help you apply Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 so you can understand God’s plan in your current season.
“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV
No matter what season you are in, God is teaching you valuable lessons to grow your faith and trust in Him. We will discover what God is saying through the different times and activities we traverse.
I look forward to hearing how God is working in your current life season. I hope you will join in the fun and discussion on the online Bible study.
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