I watched steam hover in the air as the mirror fogged. Hot water swirled like my thoughts before disappearing down the drain.
I had reached a breaking point. Jealousy and envy had plagued my heart for so long and I needed to be done with it. I’d brought the issue before God numerous times but the results never really seemed to be long lasting.
It’s not that I hadn’t grown at all. I’d become much better at honoring and complimenting others in their successes. But that initial snag of jealousy on my heart was so ugly. I just wanted to be done with it forever.
I knew that my struggle was, in many ways, related to my own insecurity. If others were more successful than me in areas I’m passionate about (ie. work, ministry, writing, etc.) it meant I was failing. Or if they were successful at all it diminished by own importance or success. It’s an exhausting way to live.
Like I said, I’d experienced a level of freedom but the initial tug was still there. It was like a fist twisted my stomach when I’d hear of others accomplishments in my areas. It would last a few seconds before I was able to overcome it and celebrate with the person.
At the time, I did know and understand that it’s lies of our adversary that hold us in captivity. Trouble was, I didn’t know what lie I had believed. So that’s the point I’d reached standing in the bathroom, breathing the humidity of the hot shower.
Suddenly a resolve rose from my heart. I made a decision that I wasn’t going to leave before God revealed the lie I’d swallowed hook, line, and sinker. Maybe it was that resolve or decision that opened up the ears of my heart to God in a way they hadn’t been opened before.
I almost saw the words snaking through the dense air, ugly. I straightened as I heard the soft voice of the Holy Spirit explain.
You look at the accomplishments of others and call them ugly in your heart. The truth is that they are so incredibly beautiful.
I stood very still allowing the words to pull the strings of my heart. It was true. The lie I’d believed relating the success of others was that they’re ugly. They’re ugly because of what I believed they meant about me. But the truth, the truth was and is that the accomplishments of others are so beautiful because they build His kingdom! They spread and exalt the name of Jesus. They plant seeds and reflect the heart of God to a world who needs it more than anything. It’s got nothing to do with me.
I would have jumped for joy at the revelation if I didn’t know the floor gets very slippery when damp. No need to bust my head in celebration.
In the months that followed I immediately replaced the lie with the truth of beauty when the opportunity came. Every time I did, the nasty tug I couldn’t seem to get rid of died a little more. Today I hardly even notice it.
Jealousy and envy can be a very tough enemy to defeat. Your journey may not look like mine and that’s okay. Your lie might be different but the key is that God will reveal it. Sometimes it takes a while before we are able to hear the answer, as each person’s maturity in the Lord is unique.
Sometimes there are things in us that make it impossible to hear God on a certain subject and so we (Him and us together) must deal with the things blocking His voice before being able to hear that ultimate answer.
But be persistent and courageous. Your answer may have already been dispatched it’s just being held up by the battle.
Jesse and Kara Birkey
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