Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Food for Thought: Jealousy and Envy (Batter Up!)

Here's another food-for-thought journal entry just for you.

Names have been changed to protect the blessed.

From June 5, 2015

"Jane" contacted me via text last night. She wanted help with picking out some decorations for her place. I thought she should ask "Susan" about it. It had me feeling some kind of way.  I am fighting jealousy or envy. It's like a spider-spun silk thread in my mind.  But we know how strong spider spun silk is. I refuse to let that grow. It will be alright. 

I must remember that jealousy and envy are indicative of inner issues that are not tied to others directly. Interaction with others only bring it out. I have to set my mind to not deal with being at the forefront. Whatever that means. I have to examine my inner self. I find sometimes that I have the desire to belong. I belong to God, and this should be good enough. It is the pinnacle. it is like the summit of Mount Everest. Everything is beneath that. Favor with God causes favor with others, as God directs. Acceptance by others is NOT the same as having favors with others. They are similar, but not the same. I must try to understand that. 

The thing that touches this off FACEBOOK and TWITTER. I will see something and feel the wrong way in my heart. It is only for a moment though. Very fleeting. But I must do more to combat that moment. Hit it with a bat repeatedly, killing it. The Word and what God says about me is the bat. Hit with that bat, i.e., encourage myself. 

I am NOT an afterthought. I am a thought in the forefront of God's mind. I am a container and He uses me quite well. I am a container in God's palace and He uses me for specific purposes. He loves me. He also pours into me, this container I am. He edifies me. On purpose. He loves me. I must always remember that He loves me.

That entry is chock full of interesting fodder. First of all, I was going to post only the portion that starts "I am fighting jealousy and envy..." down to the end of that paragraph. That's a enough there to blog on.

I don't consider myself a jealous person. I don't consider myself an envious person.  But I recognize the thoughts that come, if only for a split second, yet disappear like a puff of smoke. . No, they don't stay around that long. It is fleeting, sort of like catching something in your peripheral vision, then looking in that direction and saying "I thought I saw something over there." Yet it was only a phantom, a shadow. Maybe it was just something imagined.

Or maybe it was real. And if not addressed it will run up and grab hold of you and and won't let go.

That is the fear.

As I said in the journal entry above, it's like a spider-spun silk thread. It's barely noticeable, and if you are anything like me, you've run straight into it, and if people see you from afar, it looks like you're fighting air.  They don't see the thread. But you see it. You feel it. And you do whatever you can to free yourself from it.

I learned about jealousy and envy awhile ago. My pastor gave a good sermon on it, and it has stuck with me.

Jealousy is looking at someone and having an attitude about them or something they have.

Envy is looking at that something they have... and going forward to destroy it.

That's just an angle of jealousy and envy, as there are other more profound ways of looking at it. But that was an interesting way of looking at it. And simple enough for me to remember.

So, let's use reader Sasha for example. Sasha just bought a new 2015 Mercedes. That $100,000 one.

Here I come around the corner. Instead of celebrating with her, I say in my mind. ... "Look at Sasha. She think she all that. Just 'cause she got a brand new car. She ain't all that. Who she thank she is? Sasha think she better than us."

I am jealous. I even concoct some notion in my mind where I imagine Sasha thinks she is better than us all. That's not the case. I am the projector, Sasha is the screen. I'm projecting my personal internal issues on to her.

The problem is that envy takes things a step further. I'm still seething with jealousy over Sasha's beautiful car. And don't let it get well rooted, i.e, don't get me to go finding Laura, Moe, and Gina and start talking bad about how Sasha thinks she is all that, thinking she better about US all.

Like I said, envy takes things a step further...

"There go ol' Sasha's pearl gray custom Benz in the parking lot. Humph."

I go over to her car and walk around it. I look around to see who else is looking around.

I pull out my keys and key her car up.

And it felt good.

I key it up a couple more times. Then I run like hell... because I don't want nobody to catch me doing it, yous see. I may even pull out my big knife and slash a tire... or two.

And don't let me light this match... 

Jealousy is hating what Sasha has. Envy is causing destruction to what Sasha has.


So imagine my writing something kin to this in my journal. It disturbed me. I don't want to feel this way. Even if for a fleeting moment.

And as you can see, this happens when I look at Facebook and Twitter. I am ashamed to admit, even if it's a fleeting thought. Sometimes it gets hard to constantly read about people's "perfect" lives. And I know that's not always the case. No one's life is perfect. And anyway, social media is more like:

Yeah. The real life portion is what no one talks about.

So when I see jealousy and envy in my peripheral vision, I have to hit it. "There's fleeting whispers in my head of 'I wish I could do that... I wish I had friends like that... etc."  I have to hit it, hit it fast and hit it hard. Bust it up a proverbial bat. Hit it with some scripture or something. Simply put, I must encourage myself. And I do that well. It didn't phase me when I spent the next few paragraphs, and they were chock full of positive things. I felt better afterwards.

The whole "afterthought" statement: I'd been writing "I'm not an afterthought" in big bold block angry letters at the top of my pages in late May. It's funny going back and looking at it.


I'd been blown off by 3 different people that month (when it came to plans). Correction: I FELT like I'd been blown off. It may or may not have been the case. It was the feeling. I, like everyone else, act on my fleeting feelings. Compound that with my tendency to keep my feelings and opinions to myself, and my passive-aggressive nature rears its head. Strong. (I have to write about this afterthought stuff. Found a whole nother entry on that).

I attack this type of thing. Personally. Aggressively. I rarely talk about it. It bothered me to the point that I make a double set of plan. If we make plans, and it didn't pan out, and you didn't think to convey it to me... let's just say that I had a whole nother set of plans... and I had a great time.

But the key here is I automatically come back with a spiritual bat and hit thoughts that don't line up with where I want to go or who I want to be. I am well practiced at that. Who wants this stuff to get rooted.

I can't stop birds from flying over my head, but I can keep them from building their nests in my hair.

Really though.

I see from that journal entry that I spend time thinking about being a container.

2 Timothy 2:20-21 MES In a well furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets - some containers used to serve fine meals, others to take out garbage. Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guest for their blessing. 

I wrote about that in another post. I've been gnawing and chewing on for a few months now for close to a year, and much good juice comes from it. It creeps up in my mind exactly when I need it... and even when I don't.

I've also learned to celebrate people's successes. I spend time thanking God for them and blessing their lives also. I will make sure to go up to them and congratulate them on their achievement. I may even do something for the person. It is wonderful that has become my automatic way of doing things.

That drives jealousy and envy away.

It is a big bat that knocks jealousy and envy right out of the ol' ball park.

And I am all too thankful for that.


  1. I have struggled with jealousy and envy before, as time went on I learned the things really were not what they seemed.
    I recall being jealous of two individuals because on the outside they appeared to have it all together, the banging careers, the perfect relationships, the fancy cars and the perfect relationship with God. They would come to church and really praise him and I was left wondering why I didn't have what they had. I worked hard, I had tenure on my job, I paid my tithes regularly and I was sowing seeds in to other people lives. I gave away two working cars to those who needed cars for FREE. Yet I was still driving a Honda Accord, where was my Range Rover or Jag?
    But boy oh boy was I wrong. Once I got to see inside their lives fully I learn the value lesson you know the don’t judge the book by its cover. They had banging cars but tons of debt and jacked up credit, banging careers but going home stressed out at night having to see psychologist just to cope and deal with work. Their Praise was a good shout on Sunday but M-Sat they were living in turmoil, the relationship oh yeah more like a roommate situation they lived together but sleep in different bedrooms.
    After this I had a true come to Jesus meeting with myself and apologize because I had accomplished a lot of great things that I didn’t realize because I was so busy looking and wanting their plate. That I forgot I had just as much if not more on my own.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your private journal. I appreciate you always being open and honest. I always learn something new and always get encouragement. It helps to know that I am not the only person who has jealous feelings. I have never heard of jealousy and envy defined like that. It makes perfect sense.

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  4. Thank you that definition of the difference between jealousy & envy really helps me understand so much better now.


Slap the *crickets* out the way, kindly step up to the mike, and SAY something!!