When you and I were born, it was for a reason. God had a special idea in mind when He formed you and I in our mother's womb. We are important and special in His sight. It took me many years to learn this. I didn't fully grasp the idea that God loved me and wanted His best for me. When I saw other women of God walking in their purpose, I immediately got jealous. However, at this point of my life I am learning that a jealous mindset only lasts as long as I allow it.
We can sit and settle in negative and toxic ways of thinking, but that will eventually lead to negative and toxic ways of life. How can God use those who live that way? If we are not allowing God to get the glory from our lives, how can we encourage others to allow God to get the glory from their lives? It all starts with us.
We can change how we think, but we've got to ask for help. Here are a few things to think about:
BE HONEST WITH GOD AND WITH YOURSELF
I had to be honest with myself, the struggle with comparison and jealousy is my common temptation. And it's with that admission that leads to the restoration and healing that only Jesus can do. See, my problem is I hate rejection. If I'm not accepted in a way I see fit, I think of myself as being unworthy or not good enough. So I start trying to prove myself in various ways to show that I'm worthy. Working really hard, fighting to be noticed, remaining offended - thinking that these things would somehow please and honor the Lord. Undercutting people and being dishonorable (even in our hearts) will never please God. Sin is at play and we need to repent.
Envy and self-seeking happens when we desire to fill the empty places in our hearts unrighteously and without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We get nowhere really quickly, believe me, I know this first hand.
My tendency to be jealous and compare my life to the lives of others was rooted in a personal fear of rejection. I absolutely hate to be an outcast. I try my best to love and support everyone and I want everyone to love and support me, no matter what. That's unrealistic and unfair, actually. So, I would set these crazy, high expectations on people. People who I love and admire on the surface. But that love didn't last long, because when they let me down, which is what humans do, my feelings are hurt and I cut them off.
Anything or anyone who makes me feel rejected, gets the boot from my life. Such a vicious, unhealthy cycle. I never really had long lasting friendships because when I was let down by a loved one, that was it. When the truth is, they were never supposed to be in that high of a position to begin with. That place is for Jesus and Him alone. I've learned that love, understanding and communication goes a very long way. People will eventually fail us, but the Lord never will.
ALLOW GOD'S WORD TO CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE
Once I stopped focusing on the negative things about myself, the lies of how inadequate and unworthy I was, and when I started focusing on how awesome and faithful the Lord has been to me, things radically changed. When I stopped focusing on how much better other people were than me, and begin to see that the Lord has placed gifts in all of His daughters, things started to turn around in my heart. I also had to begin believing God's Word as fact and not as just words on a page.
There are many, many more promises in God's Word that point us to freedom from sin in Christ Jesus.
As sons and daughters of God, when we are finally honest with ourselves, we can share these painful and ugly sins with the Lord. Then, when we ask God to forgive us of these sins, through Christ, we are forgiven and He sets us free from the bondage of guilt, condemnation and from our past mistakes.
I am still learning these things myself, but I am realizing that the Lord will help us change our perspective as we read and believe God's Word.