Green with Envy and the Seeds that Sow It!
Last week, I went to a family gathering and the family started reminiscing about how my mom and aunt would dress me and one of my older cousin’s alike all the time. Most of the women in my family love to shop, get their hair and nails done on a regular and just be girly…I was a different story. I remember when I was younger there came a time where certain family members would interrogate me and say, “Why don’t you do this like _____? Why don’t you wear this like______? Why don’t you go this place to meet someone? I heard___ met someone that way? This person got a scholarship for this much____ why didn’t you get one? This person makes this much money teaching overseas…maybe you should have done that.” Although I know my family loves me, statements like the ones listed above often sowed seeds of insecurity causing me to become green with envy.
Needless to say, they weren’t the only ones. I’ve had past lust interests (Yes! I say lust interests because Lord knows it wasn’t love!) question my looks down to asking me about the way I wear my hair and asking why I wear glasses. Even had a guy who wasn’t over his ex-girlfriend try to compare me to his ex- girlfriend asking me why I wasn’t everything she was? I’ve even received it while being in the house of the Lord being told I’m too much of a recluse to be the “face” of a ministry. The worst of them all… being told someone else is a prophet therefore my words have no weight. I didn’t want to be jealous, but constantly being compared to others as if I wasn’t good enough left me constantly comparing myself to others. It becomes like a ripple effect because the more you’re compared to others, the more you begin to compare others… hence those unrealistic expectations we sometimes place upon others. God did not lie when he emphasized the power words have on our lives (Proverbs 18:21).
While thinking about this, the Holy Spirit took me to 1 Samuel where we see the envy demon consume the heart of Saul.
As they were coming home, when David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs, of joy, and with musical instruments. And the women sang to one another as they celebrated,
"Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands."
And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, "They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?" And Saul eyed David from that day on.
1 Samuel 18:6-9
Here we see how the words of others sowed a seed of envy into someone. It wasn’t the celebration that upset Saul, but more so the comparison that was created between him and David. Too many times comparison is inflicted upon us through people, media, music and society in general. I used to just listen to things people would say and I became bitter, angry, and didn’t trust many people because in my eyes they weren’t there for me they were competition. God soon revealed that if I wanted a breakthrough, I would need to cancel the words spoken over me and cast down every thought that tried to rise against the knowledge of Him (2 Corinthians 10:5) which includes who He says I am in Him. Because we have no control over other people, there came a time when I shut everything down. If someone tried to compare me, I would simply say, but that’s not me, declare who God says I am and carry on. There were some people I eventually had to release from my life, but their removal was necessary for me to truly embrace who God made me to be.
I had to take control of how I used social media. Reading posts and watching videos that would glorify certain people, gifts, and accomplishments over others, left me questioning my own value. Even blogging, opened the door to me questioning my value. I didn’t have many comments, shares, or likes. I didn’t have the funds to create an exceptionally grand website with a launch party, but God silenced those thoughts IMMEDIATELY. He said, “Don’t allow the size of your platform to diminish the value of your ministry. Do not look left or right, but just look up and keep your eyes on me. Remember because you are faithful over a little, I will set you over much (Matthew 25:21).” Upon receiving this revelation, the stronghold of envy was broken. God showed me how to defeat the enemy’s whispers of comparison that were spoken through so many different avenues.
If this is an area of weakness for you, please do not allow it to control your life anymore. By constantly comparing yourself or allowing yourself to be compared to others, you will never be able to fully be used the way God needs to use you. You will grow stagnant and afraid to step out on faith and do what God desires to see you do simply because you will be too busy comparing yourself to others who may be doing something similar already. Be free from envy and walk in the freedom and confidence that comes with knowing you were fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). Say this prayer and walk in the uniqueness you were created in.
Thank you for being such a loving, gracious, faithful, and merciful father. Forgive me for not seeing the beauty that you created within me. Forgive me for doubting my value due to watching others. Lord, I cast down every vain imagination that tries to rise against the knowledge of who you are and who I am in you. Remove all people and things that distract me from seeing myself and others through your eyes. Lord, I forgive every person that has sown a seed of comparison into me. Reveal yourself to them, so that they may be freed from envy too. Free us both from speaking words that sow seeds of envy. Lord, I embrace who I am and where you have me in this season. I believe in your promises and I will declare them daily knowing that they will manifest in your perfect timing. Lord, I love you and I surrender every aspect of my life to you. Continue to perfect me and mold me into the person you created me to be. I give you all the honor, the power, and the glory, in Jesus’ name I pray.
No matter where you are, never be afraid to bring your burdens, cares, doubts, and negative thoughts to the Lord. As you walk out your freedom from envy, I recommend reading Lisa Bevere’s newest book, Without Rival. She touches on various aspects of comparison and competition and I believe this is an area that the enemy has used to create a significant level of division within the body of Christ. May it bless you just as much as it blessed me.