The phrase “green with envy” can be traced back to the ancient Greeks. And years later, William Shakespeare wrote these lines in Othello: “Beware, my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on”. Envy usually precedes jealousy…and unchecked jealousy can lead to a trainload of bigger crimes….murder, deceit, theft, scams, etc. And even though I might tell you that I do not consider myself an envious person…..well, I really am.
I will readily admit that I am indeed envious of how quickly my husband falls asleep when his head hits the pillow, while I toss and turn for what seems like hours. But if I face the “man in the mirror” then I will also have to admit that I envy folks who have closets wider than 4 feet, have an indoor laundry room (mine has to be accessed from our carport), and have storage that allows them superb organization. If I dwell on those envies—counting the blessings of others rather than my own—then jealousy can take root and grow into a major festering sore in my soul. It is a daily battle for me to fight envy; and gorgeous magazines, models, décor blogs, and Crate & Barrel don’t help matters. I have to remind myself that model’s photos are airbrushed, that those beautiful rooms are in homes that are out of our income bracket, and that there will probably NEVER be enough storage space! The Apostle Paul says in Phil. 4:11b “…for I have learned to be content regardless of my circumstances”.
To fight the battle and scare the green-eyed monster away:
- Count your blessings each day, thanking God for what you have.
- Keep a small journal, and each day write down two things that you are thankful for on that particular day. Once I actually wrote that I was thankful for all green traffic lights during my lunch hour.
- Remind yourself each day that “today I will be content in my circumstances”.
- Don’t complain.
- Recognize the fact that social media can influence your attitude, and if necessary, limit the amount of time you spend online.
- Remember our Lord never said that life was fair; even He had his share of earthly unfairness.
(c) 2018 Leslie Kelley.