I saw it in Denny’s. A woman who truly had it together, graced with flawless makeup. Her husband leaned over to cut chicken tenders and the child graciously responded with, “Thank you Daddy!” The other five children waited their turn to have their food cut since their ages couldn’t have been more than a year from one another. Her “Red-ilicious” red lips lifted in a smile as the husband kissed her peaches and cream complexion. Certainly I stepped onto the set of a rerun of Bewitched, because in everyday life, this is an illusion that couldn’t happen without some nose twitching.
Jealously washed away all appreciation for the dinner at Denny’s. How come I can’t get it together? I’ve scoured the earth for the best formulas, plans, and motivation to keep my life in check. And yet, I still see a woman whose makeup must come with a plastic surgeon’s price tag. (By the way did you know they make tattooed permanent eyeliner now? It’s true!)
I don’t lack the “Purple Passion” eye shadow she has. I lack a sense of contentment in my attitude. I lack a heavenly view of my identity. I lack an understanding of God’s Word. And I lack acting on what I know is true.
Contentment in attitude washes away dirt and grime from the day. The Bible says, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away” (Isaiah 64:6). This verse isn’t intended to guilt ridden anyone. It evens up the score. I’m not perfect, but neither are the ones I’m green with envy over their blemish-free blush.
A heavenly view of my identity washes away the grease from envy. God has each one of us in his hands, and he’s working out the imperfections. “Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand” (Isaiah 64:8). Notice the collective grouping. “Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand” (emphasis added). So that gal with the shade of “Purple Passion” on her peaches and cream complexion has issues to contend with that I do not see.
Besides, if I don’t recognize my jealously for what it is and confess it properly, I have a larger problem. Contentment comes from knowing God’s words. “Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘He has no hands’?” (Isaiah 45:9). We are all clay. Why question the Creator? I am demeaning what He does in my life or in someone else’s life by not recognizing His grand plan.So how do I get over my “Green with Envy” shaded attitude?
Overcome jealously by:
1) Praise (helping my contentment in my attitude); I praise my God for what I have. He gave it to me, so he can take it away.
2) See a heavenly view of my identity. I realize my identity is in God. Instead of looking at my situations and what I don’t possess, I ground myself in what He says I am. I am clay, but mold-able clay. I’ll humble myself to His working.
3) Read. I can’t realize my identity without doing some basic research. For me, if I notice that I am overly aware of what others are wearing or doing, it’s probably because I didn’t have a quality quiet time. Being in the Word is so desperately important because you don’t know what you’re going to face! (Even if it is a face with great makeup!)
4) Step out, knowing the actions are based on what is true. I have to acknowledge why I feel the twinge of jealously or dissatisfaction, and then act on what the Holy Spirit says. Pray for the one you feel that spasm of jealously over. Don’t dwell on it, but move on to what God is doing in you too!
Perfect people don’t exist. I’m a piece of clay, and I’m glad for my “imperfections!” It gives God a chance to show His glory when He helps me overcome jealously. It’s why I can “face” those with perfect makeup. And this time I’ll throw out my “Green with Envy” and try a little “Contented Coral” myself!