God, when my heart murmurs, whimpers and begs to be known by the world I ask that You would flip the desire. Instead, may this misguided heart of mine cry only to know in deeper, more radical ways, the depth of Your jealous love.
The contentment and rest we all seek is not found in throngs of screaming fans but in Your beloved arms and never ceasing embrace…Selah.
Jealousy and comparison? Are we familiar with one another? Oh, yes… the three of us are well acquainted. So well acquainted that I often fail to notice their arrival. The indicator of the momentous occasion manifests itself in the form of sulphur, a thick, potent gas that drifts from social media and into my porous heart.
Today I was taking time to scroll through my Facebook feed when I realized something, my joy was slowly but surely being sucked away (I, understandably, have come to identify this as the dementor effect). I lost my ambition to create and my drive to accomplish. I began loathing the people who were “more successful” than I was. I started hating who I was and my lack of fiscal success.
Yep, my stinky friends were back and man did they ever reek.
In light of the sulphurous smell and the realization that I wasn’t doing enough I frantically started crafting a game plan. I would be more involved in particular organizations, more ambitious with my book proposal. I would be sure to take more risks and spend more money on advertising. I had to write more posts to keep my readership up!
Even after I had figured out which steps to take and when I should take them I felt very empty. Something was missing. It wasn’t until my husband stepped in and listened to me whine that I realized what that something was.
I was comparing myself to the success of others and not allowing myself to be content in the position God had placed me. I was missing His Scriptures, His Word, His voice in my life. I had allowed the gentle whisper to be silenced by the cackling of other whims and fancies.
It is frighteningly impossible to fully enjoy who we are when we are consumed with others and what they are accomplishing. (Tweet that and steal the quoted picture if you wish!)
In light of this situation, and at the advice of my glorious husband, I googled and retrieved some epic scriptures to help with the matter. There are six of them that stand out most to me that I would like to share with you…
- Psalm 37:5–commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and He will act.
Wow, how often do I forget this one? If there is a passion, a desire in my heart that comes from God it would do devastating damage to not surrender it to Him. He is the One who made the desires. He is the Only One who will see them to full fruition in our lives. This is also a lesson in learning to trust the One who we ought to lean on in EVERY situation.
- Proverbs 14:30–a tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.
Not cute imagery… at all (hehehe, Jared Bosgra I can hear your voice whenever I type “cute”. Thank you for this). I don’t know about you but I don’t really want my bones to rot. AKA: I don’t want to live in a state of dank envy and unrelenting overachieving for the rest of my life, always looking at others and backwards, not able to simply enjoy the season I am in or the people who surround me. If anything, that sounds like degenerating rot to me. Again, that’s not cute.
- Galatians 1:10-am I saying this now to win the approval of people or God? Am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant.
Powerful stuff Paul. Powerful stuff. Let’s summarize: if we are trying to please people with our endless works we are working for people and not for God. Ultimately this sacrifice will not stand up in court, on the day of judgement when what people say doesn’t matter, at all. One day, when I am face to face with the Almighty God I want to lay down my fearfully formed works at His feet, exactly where they belong, and say to Him, “all this was done for You my King.” Goooosh, that will be amazing.
- Isaiah 2:22–stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?
If you have the tendency to look to celebs or other people’s opinions for your worth, please stop. Like my daddy always used to say, “we all put our pants on the same way”.
We’re all going to stand before the judge on that final day too.
Please be ready to give an account for how you lived. Was it for Christ or for the affirmation of others?
- Mark 12:30–love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
Please forgive me if I’m wrong but I believe this love projects into all facets of our lives, including what we do with our gifts, passions and talents and no, I don’t think this is optional.
6. Proverbs 3:5-6–trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Mic drop. We need to give EVERYTHING we are to the Lord, regardless of how we feel. My friend, please keep in mind this fact: how we feel often has no bearing and is not indicative of reality, often (at least in my own life) it is the exact opposite.
We are commanded by God to lay our burdens at His feet, not to burden ourselves with countless thoughts.
(Twweeeet and steal that photo!)
We are called to acknowledge this merciful God (spend time with Him and read His Word). When we do these things and give our dreams to Him He will lead us in the way He desires for His name sake. He will make a way for us!
In closing I have written a prayer. Feel free to pray this and allow His peace to wash over you as you do:
“My God, please light a fire beneath this hardened, wax, heart and pour the contents into the mold you desire. Purify the dross and imperfection. Cleanse me of my good intentions for I am Yours and You are mine.”
With much love,