Monday, March 03, 2014

The "J" Word

jeal·ous  (jĕl′əs)
1. Fearful or wary of being supplanted; apprehensive of losing affection or position.
a. Resentful or bitter in rivalry; envious: jealous of the success of others.
b. Inclined to suspect rivalry.
3. Having to do with or arising from feelings of envy, apprehension, or bitterness: jealous thoughts.
4. Vigilant in guarding something: We are jealous of our good name.
5. Intolerant of disloyalty or infidelity; autocratic: a jealous God.

My morning devotion agitated a raw spot in my heart. So today there will be no outfit, only a post on my feelings and I hope that's alright. I was lead to write this, and that's all the confirmation I need.

Today I read the following in my Joyce Meyer daily devotional. "Comparing our lives with other people's lives in unfair, to them and to us. It's unfair to them because if we become jealous of what they have, what they know, how they look, etc. we start to resent them. Then we can no longer appreciate them as the wonderful person that God made them to be. It's unfair to us because it limits God's plan for our lives. Comparison says to God, "I want to limit Your work in my life to this and nothing else. I just want to be like this other person, and have what they have."

In the definition of the word jealousy, letter b above says: Inclined to suspect rivalry. I wonder how many wonderful relationships we are robbing ourselves of because of our suspicions? Our judgements of others before we ever even give them a chance? I say this because I have battled this my entire life. I am tall, I like to dress nice, I was a cheerleader, a dancer, involved and outgoing. I have been labeled a "snob" and "selfish" and "all about me." People have even labeled me as materialistic. I would later receive apologies from friends that judged me before they knew me. Stating that they were wrong, for letting their suspicions and assumptions determine their opinion of me, rather than taking time to know my heart. This still happens today and I am 38 years old! It makes me sad. It hurts, because the desire of my heart is to be friends with everyone, and the thought that someone may take a step back because they don't want to take time to know me is painful.

I don't write this to paint the picture that I am totally unapproachable to everyone, because generally I do make fast friends. But in these situations when an assumption leads to a judgement, I feel like I get robbed. Do I do this to others? I am sure I have been guilty, and I have surely robbed myself on occasion.

I end with this. I took my daughter to a birthday party this weekend. I had to snap a picture of her face, pure joy in watching her friend open her gifts. She didn't have a second thought of jealousy, she was just full of joy to see her friend opening her gifts. Are we that way? Can we smile and feel happy for our friends when their good is SO good when our lives seem less than fantastic? Are we reaching out to celebrate with them? Or feeling left behind and resentful of their glory? I want to continue to find joy in the gifts my friends receive. I may think...WOW I sure would like that, or I sure wish I had it as good as they do, but I don't ever want that to get in the way of celebrating the good things in their lives. I also don't ever want to let my assumptions sabotage an opportunity to love someone. Because you know what, God has unique gifts for all of us and if we know that, and rest in that.....we won't have time for suspicions, assumptions, or jealousy.

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