Ick…that’s such an ugly word isn’t it? I don’t like to think of myself as an envious person…I like to “water it down” a bit and use the word jealous. Jealous doesn’t sound so awful does it? But they are kinda the same thing...and both equally as bad in the Lord’s eyes. Envy is defined as “a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another's advantages, success, possessions, etc.” Jealousy is “resentment against a person enjoying success or advantage, etc.” I do believe we’ve all been guilty of these, I for one definitely have! What have I been jealous or envious of?
I am jealous of the pregnant women all around me.
I am jealous of the families around me with children.
I am jealous of the mothers who get to come in and pick up their children from the nursery…leaving me, the nursery worker, empty handed once they are gone.
I am envious of the couples who do not have to schedule their sex lives.
I am jealous of the couples who can eat anything they want without having to worry about doctor recommended diets to help with fertility.
I am envious of women who get to pee on a stick and see two pink lines.
I am envious of women who get to announce "I’m pregnant!”
I am jealous of women who get have an OB ultrasound looking at a baby while I am stuck getting an ultrasound looking at cysts and follicles.
I am jealous of cute pregnant bellies.
I am envious of people who can still watch “A Baby Story” without tearing up and having to change the channel.
I thought about this a lot the other night and when it really comes down to it, I think the thing I am most envious about is other’s innocence. Infertility innocence. I am envious that those couples who don’t struggle with infertility can announce they are pregnant early on in a pregnancy not realizing the prevalence of miscarriages. The innocence of couples who can post pictures of their babies all over Facebook not having a clue as to the pain it causes others. The innocence of thinking that it’s easy to conceive. The innocence of not having a CLUE as to the medications, blood draws, surgeries, schedules, appointments, doctors, regimens, emotions, etc. that consume the lives of us infertiles. I think the innocence is what I most wish I still had.
I could go on and on about things that cause the evil jealous monster to well up inside of me. But I want it to stop! Not only are we commanded not to envy as the following Bible verses tell us, but if we are resenting someone, are we loving them as the Lord has commanded? Answer…no!
“Stop your anger, turn from rage, do not envy others, it only leads to harm.” Psalm 37:8 (NLT)
“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” Proverbs 14:30
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy…” 1 Corinthians 13:4
We are commanded not to envy others. I have always known this, but this next part is what the Lord is really convicting me of recently. According to the above definitions of jealousy and envy, if we are resenting someone for the things they have when it comes down to it we are discontent with what we have. Envy implies that there is discontent, we are “dissatisfied, not satisfied with what one is or has, wanting more.” And if I am not satisfied with what I have, what an insult to the Lord!! Think of how much it would hurt if we gave someone we dearly loved a present, the perfect present for that person. And that person wasn’t satisfied with what we gave them, they thought the present was not enough and they wanted what someone else had on top of what you have already given them. We would think what a jerk! Shouldn't they be happy with that perfect present I have already given them!? In essence this is what we are telling God when we look at other’s things and want more for ourselves. We are telling God, “what you have given me is not enough. I want more. Give me that _______” When in actuality, He has already given us the perfect gift! Not only did He give us the gift of salvation, look at all of the other blessings He has given us!!! And He expects us to be content with what He has given us.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” 1 Timothy 6:6-8
“…Be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”” Hebrews 13:5
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13
Contentment. This is what I strive for. I honestly am content with where I am right now. I KNOW that the Lord is in control of my life. But I have to realize that the Lord is in control of others lives too, and He has a different purpose for that pregnant women than He does for me right now. Not better, not worse, just different. So I am striving to love those that I start to feel envious of and to turn those ugly feelings COMPLTELY over to the Lord. I am SO blessed and I need to start living that way...content with where I am and what I have. This is going to be hard, but “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength”!!