I feel as if my entire life has been spent watching other people be happy and have good things happen to them as I sit in poverty, without a father and feeling like the dollar store version of everyone else.
When I was in Jr. High and name brand clothes became this big thing, I would get into horrible fights with my mother because she refused to buy me expensive clothes just because of the brand. She had bought me, wranglers, my whole life, so I was going to keep on getting wranglers from Sears regardless if the girls at school would make fun of me.
This has really fed the sin of envy and jealousy for me. It is a sin that I am constantly confessing and fighting against. I complain and whine to God all the time about how difficult my life is. And it is difficult. Other people don’t talk about their difficulties so not only is my life harder than others but then I’m comparing my most difficult life to someone’s happiest life. Social media has made this issue so much worse. And yet, I can’t get the eff off Facebook or Instagram.
But I watched an interview with J Cole recently where he discussed addiction and giving up drinking. He talked about being aware of the tug that alcohol had on him and how he asked himself what that was and where did it come from. I had been thinking about my pet sin of envy and jealousy (among so many others like complaining, not being thankful for what I do have and allowing myself to live out of my wounds of abandonment), but this conversation really got me thinking about that tug.
The tug to see someone doing well and me thinking “must be nice to have things handed to you” instead of being happy for that person and what they have accomplished. I don’t even know some of these people and I assume they haven’t had any struggles in their life and a fairy godmother just granted their wishes.
Jealously makes me feel gross. Like when I eat too much cake or Little Debbies or when I just sit in my own anger over something irrelevant. I do not feel good about myself or the situation. Then I try to fake it and be nice and happy for this person only that makes me feel like a liar. What is that tug to want to be so mad at the accomplishments of others? Especially women?
When I asked myself that question and really listened to my heart to hear the answer, what I heard was “it is because God does not love YOU as much as He loves all of them”. I recognize that voice and it is not God or my angel. I know exactly who it is. It is the same voice that told me to stop talking about what God has done for me or I would lose the rest of my children. It is the voice that tells me I am poor because I suck at life. It is the voice that tells me my kids would be better off if I were not their mother and Anthony’s suicide is proof of that. It is not the voice of someone who wants the best for me but rather the voice of someone who hates me.
That tug is the snake in my garden.
The devil does not have new tricks. They are the same old one he has used from the beginning of time. He told Eve “surely you will not die” and he tells me that God does not love me as much as He loves the bloggers with better websites, logos and speaking gigs than me. My sin won’t be eating the fruit from a tree God said not to eat from. My sin is hating on other people that God has created in His image.
The only way to combat that sin is to know it when I see it and to know that God loves me. To count my blessings, as cliché as that might be to say and to see all the proof around me that God does indeed love me. The power is in my choices. Will I choose to be angry and jealous or will I choose to turn to God every time and be honest with Him about how I feel. It is not a sin to feel like I have gotten the short end of the stick in life. It is a sin to sit and mock other people and roll my eyes when they post their achievements. It is a sin to wish that I had their life because that means that I am not thankful for mine.
The next time you find yourself being pulled towards a sin, just think about the story of the Garden of Eden and look at the tricks the devil used there, listen to the tug at your heart to sin and you will hear his same old lies. Ask God to meet you there, He will. The way that Mary conquered the devil is by her “yes” to God. That is the same way that we can conquer him too.