“But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” James 3:14-16
Have you ever been in church or in a group where someone shared an amazing story of God’s blessing and instead of feeling encouraged you actually felt discouraged or envious?
I can recall a specific time when my husband and I were three months behind on rent along with everything else. We had been waiting on God and weren’t sure what we were supposed to do next. One Sunday we were sitting in church when someone shared a spectacular testimony about how they were two weeks behind on their rent with no idea how they were going to pay. They had no money in the bank and nothing they could come up with on their own. Having no clue about what to do they asked the Lord for provision. That same day a check came in the mail for an amount that was enough to pay not only the current month’s rent but also for two additional months. It was truly a “only God could do that” moment!
At that point I began to get a sinking feeling of envy and discouragement thinking, “great for them, too bad for me.” Knowing this wasn’t quite right I prayed, “Lord I know you ask us to rejoice with those who rejoice, so why do I not feel like rejoicing?”
I sensed the Lord say this… “You are looking at it the wrong way. You are saying ‘great for them, too bad for me’ when you could be saying ‘great for them, which means good news for me.’” In other words, I needed to allow the testimony too prophesy to me about the goodness that God has stored up for me. Instead of saying, “great for them, too bad for me” I can have assurance, if He was faithful to them He’ll be faithful to me! If He has great blessings for them, He surly has great blessings for me too! Too often we mistakenly believe that if God blesses someone else it somehow depletes His ability to provide a blessing for us. As if He were like us in His ability to give! He is not at all like us! God is NEVER diminished in any way!
Because of this there is never any rational reason in the kingdom of God for us to become envious of a blessing that God has given to someone else. We are all heirs of God and co- heirs with Christ. Nor is there is any reason for a son or daughter of God to be jealous of a dream God has given to someone else because He has a great dream for each of us that is just as valid and significant.
It is easy to become envious of someone else especially when it comes to gifts, talents, abilities, anointing and even calling. But becoming jealous and envious over the qualities we see in another are nothing more than the enemy twisting, in the wrong direction, something beautiful God wants to communicate to your heart. Leaving you feeling empty instead of full.
Consider this instead: If you recognize and admire something you see in another person it could very well be the Holy Spirit highlighting something God desires to develop in you. It is very likely the Lord wants to use it to prophecy to you about a greater inheritance in Him you still have to possess. The only way to know this, for certain, is to begin to celebrate and give God thanks for what you see in the other individual. Then, rather than allowing the enemy to lead you into becoming envious, you can allow the Holy Spirit to lead you into rejoicing both over what God is doing in and through that particular person and what He is desiring to develop in you. Next time you feel the pull to become envious choose to pray for the person instead. This is one significant way we can honor the life of Jesus we see in others. Pray God would bless them, protect them, prosper them, encourage them and use them mightily. Then ask the Lord to highlight what He may want to do in you through their example.
One of the ways we can fight the wrong battle and align ourselves with the enemy is by believing the lie that God has something better for others than He does for us.
"Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17