Sunday, September 4, 2011

Four, no, Make that Five Ways to Control Envy

And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Fools fold their hands and ruin themselves. Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:4-6
Reading this passage of scripture, I got to wondering what motivates me to write. What motivates me to blog? I couldn't help but wonder if that scripture is a gentle reminder to keep my envy in check.

Anytime we're motivated by jealousy we're merely chasing the wind, because those things that we seek outside of God's will for our lives can't fulfill us; they simply leave us empty and craving for more. Common sense will tell us that the wind can never be harnessed neither can a lust for this world.

Most writers desire to publish a book, most women would love the opportunity to write with a celebrity, and nearly every author I know hopes that their book will be a best-seller. Having accomplished all three of those things, I can tell you that they haven't satisfied my desire for greater achievement. I'm still the same blogger I was six years ago, with a desire to publish a book, but the minute I take my focus off of the purpose of my ministry, I naturally desire more.

Jealousy is a dangerous thing that can creep up unnoticed in any area of our life. It brings on stress, a feeling of inadequacy, and sadly it takes our eyes off of our Father's will for our lives. That's why it's so important to always keep it in check.

What if your blog brings in 10 readers a day, and you notice that "A Holy Experience" is attracting thousands? Does that mean that Ann Voskamp is doing something that you should be doing better? Does this tell you that a black template might be your thing? Or that you should change the style of your writing? Should you tweet more? Write more? Comment more?

What it should tell you is that God is blessing you in His own way. Follow His lead--which might be an entirely different path--and that's where you'll discover authentic success.

Many trainers believe that blinders (also known as winkers) are beneficial to race horses because they encourage the animal to pay attention to the race ahead. One of the biggest distractions in a race can be the crowd, another would be the other contestants.

In much the same way, we are far more productive when we focus on the plan ahead rather than checking out the competition and the crowds that they draw.

By controlling our envy, we can focus our energy in four ways:
  • Focus on God's will for your life and seek to serve Him
  • Realize the gifts that you have been given
  • Do not compare yourselves with others
  • Be aware of the dangers of envy and avoid any sign of it
With that said I should add one more given to us in a letter from Paul to the Philippians. I always consider this the "one thing I do" piece of advice. It's valuable!

One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
~ Philippians 3:14b-15, NIV
You are loved by an almighty God,


For comments or questions, contact me at:

Find Time-Warp Wife on facebook: Click here

If you would like to have Time-Warp Wife delivered to your inbox daily, simply click here: Subscribe to Time-Warp Wife


Post a Comment

Popular Posts

Blog Archive