Her hair always laid the right way. She even had it cut like Mary Lou Retton. Perfect. Straight. So opposite of mine. Mine was quite unruly. Curly, you see. I must have figured out how to do something to it because I could feather it. Feathering was still very popular in the 80′s. Early 80′s, mind you.
I could never break dance. No, I was way too shy and wasn’t even sure I knew how to do the worm thing across my arms. I can do it now. Bet your boots I can do it now. And who didn’t LOVE the oxford under the sweater? I spy some curls in the back, mullet as they are, they were never far from peeking out.
Then there were the kids who could get on the monkey bars and flip and spin and penny drop. I was never good on those things. Well, I wasn’t as good as I could have been had I had the right hands. You see, I was born with weird and wrinkly hands. They’re dry as well, so that makes me void of the cool squeaky hand thing on the monkey bars. I was always jealous of that sound. I used to have to slip a lick on both palms just to stick to the bars. Try doing that and feeling cool about it in the sixth grade. I would have never have needed the powder gymnasts used. Never.
Envy. I had plenty of reasons to be envious. I believed I didn’t have cool hair. I knew I would never have Palmolive hands. Funny thing is, those things haven’t changed. But I have.
Maybe I’ve just matured in those things, and moved on to others.
But there is a problem with envy, it’s not the real problem. Oh, it’s a problem alright, but what’s is it stemmed from? What is it that would really cause me to get off Twitter and run from that which begs me to fall into sin? Is it just plain ol’ envy?
No, there’s more to it.
Remember Eve? Remember what Satan said to her when he talked for a bit? “Did God really say?” He threw doubt her way, causing a crisis of belief. She had a choice. Would she believe God, or not? She doubted. The book of James teaches that doubt will cause you to be “like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James also says those of us who doubt are double-minded and unstable. Sounds about right.
Doubt causes us to go back and forth in our beliefs. Tragically for me, that doubt can cause me to capsize and I believe the lie that God is holding out. That’s what Eve believed, right? God was holding out on something awesome…like being God-like. She was envious. I get that. I’m envious.
Envy says I believe the doubt and I believe that God has given that other person greater favor (straight hair and smooth hands). Question is, what if He has? Who am I to question His ways? What if that perceived, or even actual, favor means a greater achievement for the Kingdom?
And I’m envious. Mercy. God deliver me.
What if we miss the favor of God in our own lives like Eve did surrounded by the first and glorious makings of the Creator? What she could not see, and what her flesh was bent on wanting, lead her to great and consequential sin. Why do we think our secret envy would do no less?
We must deal with our unbelief. Envy is born in unbelief and rooted in a lack of faith. Our first priority should be to repent of the sin of unbelief and return to the Truth of God in all circumstances. We must stop looking that which we think we must have and focus on that which He has provided. We must believe that what God has for us is what God has for us, and what God has for them is what God has for them.
He is good. We must believe and not doubt, for if we doubt “we are like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind…double-minded….unstable in all we do.” James.
Are you envious? Do you find you fail to believe God in areas?