Here we are, back for another U love post! We thought we’d continue down the list of the U Love principles. And, what’s next? “Love does not envy.” Hmmm, now isn’t “Thou shall not covet” one of the Ten Commandments (God’s basic instructions for life)? But, even though these principles are meant to help us maneuver through life, they can be difficult to follow. Are we the only ones who sometimes secretly covet, wishing we had something someone else has (and maybe also even wish that the other person didn’t have it)?? Perhaps you’ve felt this way, too.
So, let’s talk about envy. We’ll start by looking at the definition. According to the dictionary, envy is “the resentful or unhappy feelings of wanting somebody else’s success, good fortune, qualities, or possessions; or to desire something possessed by somebody else.” Whoa, that right there tells us what can come out of envy….resentment or unhappiness. As you can see, envy is a huge breeding ground for unloving feelings. Even worse, it can cause someone to take negative actions towards the person being envied.
If we’re envying what someone else has, we are likely not content with what we have. This naturally allows feelings of animosity (and even anger) to develop towards the person we’re envying. Instead of feeling happy for the other person for what they have, we can allow jealousy and resentment to grow in our hearts. This, of course, is the opposite of U love.
Think of someone you envy in some way. When you think of them, are you feeling love and happiness towards them? Or do you feel that high octane ping go off. If you’re feeling the high octane ping, that’s the red flag that U love is not around, and resentment or unloving feelings have settled in its place. (Note, the source of the high energy ping is not always envy, but the ping is invariably an indicator of unloving feelings towards another).
Have you ever noticed, too, that when we’re envying someone, we can also get very critical of them, making it hard to find the good in the person? It makes sense that we would criticize someone of whom we’re resentful. It’s like something inside of us wants to tear down the person we’re envying, rather than build them up (which is what God’s U love would do). As those feelings of resentment and envy towards a person are allowed to fester, it can develop into nasty actions towards them (as we mentioned above).
Left unchecked, you never know how far envy will go. What comes to mind is the news story from years ago where the mom of a cheerleader planned to murder her daughter’s rival on the cheerleader team so the daughter could be head cheerleader. Or how about the story of an understudy in a ballet company who put glass shards in the tip of the lead dancer’s pointe shoe so that the lead dancer would cut her feet and the understudy could dance the part instead. And can we ever forget when ice skater Tanya Harding attacked Nancy Kerrigan during the winter Olympic games so that Nancy could not compete in the games. Now, that’s extreme envy. So, it’s best to nip envy in the bud.
We know from experience that sometimes it’s difficult not to feel envy towards someone that has something you want. So, how do we overcome this issue?? Here’s what we’ve found. The source of envy is often not trusting God for one’s own life. As we’ve stressed in previous posts, if we are feeling unconditionally loved by God; understand that He has a perfect plan that He’s created uniquely for us, and has everything worked out to bring about that plan; and has equipped us with everything we personally need to accomplish that plan; then there will be no need to envy others!
If knowing our plan set forth by God is just for us and no one else, why would we need to look at what someone else has and envy it? Because we may not believe that we can have as good a life as the one we envy. But, the truth is that we can. What’s going on in someone else’s life is separate from us and unique to them, just as what we have going on in our life is separate from them and unique to us. We will be ultimately fulfilled doing what God created us to do, and the same for others. We don’t need what they have and they don’t need what we have. So, you see, there is no need for jealousy when we’re trusting God for the outcome of life!
Even further, God loves all of us equally. He wants to give good and wonderful things to each one of us! And He knows us better than we know ourselves. Sometimes we may look at what someone else has THINKING we want it, but, in actuality, if we had it, we may find out that it wouldn’t make us happy after all. However, God knows what will make us happy since He created us. We just have to trust Him to bring to us what will truly make us happy. That’s a good reason not to covet what’s making other people happy.
We conclude that if we accept U Love from God and trust in Him, we can combat envy and erase it from our lives. By trusting God’s plan and love for us, it’s easy to be content with our lives, knowing it’s unique to us. We can then be happy for what other people have going on in their lives…making it easier to show U Love again. Voila! Envy problem solved. U Love triumphs again.
Talk to you next week!