The clouds were vibrant orange as the sun set over Ontario Canada. A buzz was in the air and there I sat looking directly onto a stage with a panel of judges at a beauty pageant searching for the next title holder.
I felt honored and excited but also like a thorn between two roses. My main interactions were with the current title holder “Miss Global” and “Miss Canada” who competed at “Miss Universe” a few years back.
I studied their faces, make up, clothing and personae as we chatted before the Pageant began. I know…I’m such a girl!
As I looked at their outward beauty something tried to creep into my heart which I wrestled with until it was fully gone…envy.
The comparison game was begging to be played. It wanted to knock my self-esteem around until it was battered but Greater is He who lives in me…God won this time.
Envy-“To be discontented at the possession of another of what one would like for oneself; malicious grudging.”
Nancy Beach writes in her book Gifted to Lead; “Coveting is basically a synonym for envy. We envy because there is a difference between who we are and who we feel we should be or who others insist we should be.”
Our society pushes us as Servant Girls to earn more money, lose extra weight, be a better homemaker, climb the corporate ladders, turn up to every school activity, volunteer more within our church or community, get higher grades…it tells us that we are not enough contradicting the truth of who we really are.
Comparison starts internal wars replacing joy with dissatisfaction leaving gaps for the enemy to entrap us.
We become slaves to a game that he wants to win. It will slip in easily if we don’t have heightened awareness.
A professor at Purdune University Robert Bringle suggests “We covet most strongly in areas to our sense of self worth.”
The deeper the vulnerability or weakness the harder we fall in the area we compare.
A close examination of our heart is required to honestly test whether or not this is a place where we stumble. Be bold friend as you answer the following questions Nancy Beach asks;
“Do you tend to belittle the accomplishments, talents, or appearances of other women?
Are you secretly upset when another woman advances you professionally or socially? What is your response to her success?
Are you tempted to bad-mouth or sabotage a person to whom you feel inferior?
Are you secretly pleased when a women colleague or friend suffers setback?
Do you find yourself making judgements and assumptions about the choices of other women leaders, particularly those who are mothers?
Do you invest a lot of energy in comparing yourself to other women physically, intellectually, spiritually and professionally?”
Envy can be shameful to vocalise. It sneaks into our hearts where it sits brewing, potentially turning into bitterness.
“Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming but who can stand before jealousy?” Proverbs 27:4
Spending wasteful time coveting robs us of the very moment we should be embracing.
We miss out on seeing our uniqueness and lack appreciation to God for His generosity in all facets of our lives.
If we are too busy looking at what we don’t have, instead of what we do, then we miss out on the blessings that have been given to us-The gift of now, and now is enough.
You are enough.
Pull envy out of the darkness, confess it to God, I was but an audible voice as I prayed for help and remember these wise words From Eleanor Roosevelt;
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”