My sister-in-law is a really good cook!
Back in the day, I would find it really hard to encourage her when she cooked something nice. To actually articulate “this tastes great” didn’t seem to roll off my tongue very easily. It took me a while, but I worked out I feared that by saying HER cooking was good I was saying MY cooking was inferior. That innate in complimenting her was an element of putting myself down or somehow lessening my own abilities. So the combination of my pride and jealousy stopped me from encouraging her, fearful I would somehow diminish myself by affirming her.
You’re all shaking your heads and ‘tutting’ quietly to yourselves right now … “that Kim sure has problems, who would do such a thing?” YOU WOULD! Go on, admit it, you do it! Or you’ve done it. Or you know someone who has done it. Continue reading
Australia’s 12.4 BILLION dollar advertising industry is built largely on the human heart’s capacity for jealousy and envy. We are all well aware of their strategies because, even though we can often see them for exactly what they are, they work! We are constantly bombarded with images of people living a better lifestyle, gadgets that are higher-tech, clothes and accessories that are more stylish; the allure of bigger, better, more.
As we’ve looked at in previous blogs, jealousy is a warning light. It reveals something of what is happening in our hearts and minds that is out of line or unhealthy. It can show us that we’re looking around for our sense of self instead of ahead to God, it can show that we’re not trusting in God’s plans, provision or purpose; or it can show us we’re doing the right things with the wrong motives.
One of the greatest costs of jealousy – to ourselves, to those around us, to any environment we find ourselves in – is that it keeps us from fully celebrating other people. This cannot be overstated in terms of its impact on the culture of our relationships and interactions; how it influences the tone of our families, our workplaces and our faith communities.
Rom 12:15 says “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”
I think we often find the mourning easier to do – we can empathise and sympathise and connect with others in their place of grief and loss. But something of the jealousy response in us prevents us from fully celebrating other people and their experiences of success or joy. Continue reading
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”
It continues with quite a list … including a time to be born and a time to die, a time to scatter and a time to gather, a time to search and a time to give up. And then concludes in verse 11 by saying “He has made everything beautiful in His time.”
There is a time for everything. God has ordered the changes in the physical world and He also orders them in OUR world. There is a time for sleeping in and a time for sleepless nights. There is a time for travelling and a time for staying around home. There is a time to spend and a time to save (or scrape by). There are times of deep grief and times of great rejoicing. There are seasons of relative ease and times of seemingly perpetual struggle. Continue reading