Green part 4

Links to the other parts: one, two, three, and five.

The spring day begged for the group of ladies to burst out of the living room where they were chit-chatting and romp on the lawn in front of the beautiful house where they had met. A discussion had begun about some topic but the mind of the outsider couldn’t stay put. She thought it was under her breath but quickly found out that she had indeed uttered the words loud enough for everyone to hear them for the room had grown suddenly quiet and all eyes were on her. She had only intended to observe and enjoy some conversation in English. She wasn’t going to be in town for long before she went back to the country where she lived as a missionary so she wanted everything to be as pleasant as possible.

Evidently not everyone had heard her clearly for some of the faces wore a curious look and one of the bolder mouths had already asked, “What did you just say?”

Squirming a bit in her outdated jacket she repeated her sentence dreading the response, “Sometimes I just wish I could be a nice little wife who keeps house and has a garage with a car in it.”

Disheartened she bounced her baby to distract the group. The shock and confusion of the ladies confirmed her fears. What she heard next was a searing surprise. Maybe at first it stung, but later the words would point her in a new direction.

“Well, sometimes I just wish I could hold orphans all day.” The frank words preceded a welcomed change in subject.

The girl had never even considered before that there might be other people who envied her. Years later as she looked back on the experience she could see that the condition of her life was not the determining factor for the operation of envy in her heart. Rather it was a choice of focus.

Webster’s has a great definition of the verb envy:

EN’VY, v.t. [L. invideo, in and video, to see against, that is, to look with enmity.] To feel uneasiness, mortification or discontent, at the sight of superior excellence, reputation or happiness enjoyed by another; to repine at another’s prosperity; to fret or grieve one’s self at the real or supposed superiority of another, and to hate him on that account.

Acts 7:9 says, “And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt…” What has envy moved me to do? What have I lost as a result of allowing envy in my life? And the most important question: what now? Through this exploration of my soul I am finding that an “envy free” life is possible. My next and final post on the topic of envy will attempt to paint an image of an envy free life-style.

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15 thoughts on “Green part 4

  1. Yeah!!! I am the first to get to post. I think?

    I guess envy can be kinda like waiting in line. There is always someone in front of us and behind us. I envy someone and someone envys me. The problem with the envy line is that it is focusing on trying to be like someone else. In all actuality we are to be like someone else Christ.

    I guess when we envy others it is saying that God did not make us good enough. Ouch that hurts but I think it will help me!!! I think?

    Thanks for writting on this babe.

  2. I like your honesty in this series, Angie. I think we all struggle with envy to some degree. Oddly, for me at least, I seem tempted to envy most in in areas where I’m gifted. I think it’s the “other side of the coin” of a gift. As in that every gift can be a weakness in some way(s). It probably reflects our natural focus on that area, and even a bit of God’s calling there.
    You strike me as a “nester” or a person with the gift of hospitality. If I’m right, then it makes sense that your environment would bother you. BUT one of the amazing things about nesters and hospitable people is that when they relax into and accept their surroundings, they’re capable of making others completely comfortable there in an almost supernatural way.

    Just my thoughts. I might be totally “off” here. Don’t feel bad about correcting me. :)

    Also, who is this other commenter who calls you “babe”? I think you should be concerned about a stalker. ;)

  3. OO I must have missed out on this, are you writing a book?? I’ll have to catch up on the other 3 parts but like this one! I probably like it more as I used to write a ‘novel’ by email for my friends. It was a way to express what was going on here , in my life, mind and head! Maybe I should start it up again! Great read!

  4. I so appreciate your openness in discussing this Angie. You do such a great job writing, too. :)

    PS: there’s this guy who comments on my blog … I think his name’s … DaRonn? He seems pretty cool and is quite interested in you. He asked if you were available …. ?

    ;)

  5. Thanks @ngie! as I go back to work I will ponder on this…I left you some blog love at my place, praying for you and DaRonn and Rehanna, and the others that are with you…you all so bless me!

  6. I have so enjoyed reading your posts, especially these about envy. I realized this week that I’ve chosen to be discontent with being in Mexico. I decided right then and there to make a list of things I love about where I am and what I am doing, both inconsequential (the abundance of fresh produce) and important (the growth in our church members’ lives). After just a day, I’m up to ten and continue to think of more as I go. Suddenly I’m not so envious of my friends who are in the States.

  7. When you sit down and think about it, envy can permeate many areas of our lives!…..I guess I have more confession to give to God.
    Are envy and covetness the same thing then?

    Blessings,
    Carin

  8. Thanks, Angie. Yeah, I’m one of those ladies who envies you. Although I don’t like that definition — I do NOT hate you or wish you weren’t doing what you’re doing — I just want to do it too.

    I know He has a purpose for my being where I am today. I have to rest in His sovereignty so I can learn to be content. I keep thinking it’s not enough, I’m not DOing enough! But if this is all the ability He’s allowed…I guess it’s all He’s asked of me.

    You’re stretching me! Thanks.

  9. @Michelle – The term ‘envy’ has taken a soft turn that does include admiration and even emulation in our usage in 2008. Originally when I started this study the term I used to label what I was struggling with was ‘jealousy’. But then when I went to Word I found that for the feelings I was experiencing the biblical term is ‘envy’ (KJV for all root meaning understandings etc.). When at all possible I prefer to stay as close to the biblical terminology as possible. Another tool I use, obviously, is an old and thorough Websters for the simple fact that it is archaic and gives definitions more closely related to the usage of vocabulary when the bible was translated. The richness and almost poetic nature of vocabulary during that time period is thrilling to me. So I renamed my doc. and moved forward deliberately stressing definitions as part of my posts. All that to say… I believe that there is, as you describe, a healthy envy of admiration and emulation. :-)

    Thank you for sharing in this with me. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for you example of trust in Him.

  10. @Carin – Yes, they are used interchangeably in the bible as terms that have the same meaning. Now, as far as contemporary definitions there is some discrepancy. See my ^previous comment to Michelle^.

    @Beth – Oh, I am so glad that you have enjoyed reading. Great minds think alike! You will understand when the final installment becomes public tomorrow. You are inspired! The writing down of what you are grateful for is a practice demonstrated by David in the Psalms; and we know that envy was a big issue in his life. Bless you, friend!

    @Darla – What a sweet sweet sweet person you are!

    @Annie – Thank you for the compliment on the writing. :-)

    @Rehanna – :-) You make me smile. It is a series. I will add the links in tomorrow; but they are all back to back.

    @Steph – Your name is not showing up as a hyperlink. I can help you fix that if you do want a link to show. Let me know and I will help you troubleshoot. Per your comment: good good thoughts you have added. Thank you for noticing that trait about me, I appreciate it. What you are describing to me is a part of the operation of the fruit of the spirit in the area of self control. Part of self control is the not being wild part. But I think, also, that part of self control is being able to hone and direct our abilities to bring the most glory to God; which would include not allowing our strength to become a damaging weakness. Just continuing with your thread. Again, I like the thoughtfulness your demonstrate when you comment.

    @DaRonn – Hm… good thoughts about standing in line. You are so precious to me. Thanks for walking beside me in this journey.

  11. that had to be a bit painful…and then later helpful.

    envy is odd. i envied those who had a house, a ministry, more passion….

    but then i try to challenge my heart to be thankful. i have MY girls, MY husband, MY Jesus…other than those it doesn’t matter as much. or at least put it in perspective.

  12. @Thumbuddy – I appreciate relationships where there is honesty; this is one of those. I am still close with the person who spoke strongly yet with much love.

    @Amy E.- I would love to know what some of your thoughts are if you are comfortable sharing.

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