Maybe you’re like me….at times I’ll look at others’ tweets or Facebook updates and with a twinge of jealousy think, “Wow, what she has is better than mine.”
The temptation to become jealous of others is easy to fall into, especially when everyone’s business is so publicized. As a public relations/marketing professional, I’m also aware that something put in writing instantly becomes more glamorous.
One day while dealing with this twinge of jealousy, I felt the nudging of God saying, “Do you not like what I’ve given you?”
I immediately thought of how Ron and I carefully buy presents for each of our four boys. We don’t buy them all the same thing. If we did they’d probably feel slighted, like we simply rushed through vs. taking time on their individual preferences and needs.
Yet here I was, looking at my friends’ lives with envy, versus gratitude for the multiple gifts I’ve been given, uniquely suited for me.
So how do we combat this jealousy challenge? For me, the following disciplines help…
Begin the Day With Gratitude — Each day is a gift, and all that comes with it is part of the wrapping. Not every hour is glamorous but every hour IS a gift. Training my tongue for thankfulness reminds my mind I’m rich, not poor.
Avoid Comparing — We’ve all heard the saying, “There will always be someone richer, smarter, more popular, more beautiful,” which begs the question, “Who decides what’s ‘better or more’ anyway?” If I think my life is the greatest, my husband the most handsome, my home the most wonderful place to be, then who cares what anyone else thinks? Loving MY life is the key to MY contentment.
Celebrate What’s Now — It’s easier to think, “When such and such happens THEN I’ll be happier,” but that’s simply a lie. NOW is the time for joy, the moment to celebrate, the season to drink in fully. Women especially fight discontentment (our mother Eve was tempted by the serpent telling her she needed the one thing she did not have.)
Celebrate With Others — When I see a friend enjoying something wonderful if I drop her a comment or note saying, “Congratulations,” or “So happy for you,” it takes the emphasis off me and puts it on her — HER joy, HER blessing, vs. what I do or don’t have.
End the Day With Gratitude — Did you know that what you read right before going to bed is what you’ll most retain? A study at Notre Dame University found that students who memorized before bed had a better retention rate than those who did not. I like to read a Psalm that expresses gratitude for God’s love, protection, provision, and Presence. I find it impacts the way I wake up the next day, feeling rich not poor.
What we’ve been given is what’s been chosen for us, and at any given juncture we’ve only begun unwrapping the gift!