Proverbs 14:30 A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.
We can look at this and pass it off as a "well duh" statement, but God would not let me do that today, He made me think on it a while. The advertising world, the world in general tells us to be jealous that it is a good thing. It even tells us it makes us want more which makes us work harder so being jealous must be a good thing. To say to somebody that we like, really like what they have we often use the phrase "I am so jealous!" after stating we like something they have. The world feeds our jealousy in advertisements, it actually fuels the economy with making us jealous. We live in such a state of jealousy that we don't even recognize it. We are jealous of where people live, what kind of cars they drive, what kind of clothes they ware, hairstyles. I remember being jealous in Junior High of the kids that got braces, I had pretty straight teeth and I wanted braces. We are jealous of people's knowledge, their status in life. If we stay home we are jealous because someone works, if we work we are jealous that someone stays home. We are jealous that someone else's child has something that our child doesn't have... The list goes on and on and on. It is endless. It has become a way of thinking that we don't even recognize. And it is killing us.
And then while we are walking around in a state of jealousy... We feel left out, alone, isolated. We feel like no one hears us, like no one sees us. We are anonymous it can seem, in such a busy, busy world. And we think if we have more we will be seen, noticed, heard.
After thinking about this for several hours today it occurred to me that we feel un-noticed because we spend so much time noticing the world that we don't notice ourselves and all that God has blessed us with. No matter how much we get, somebody has more. We tell ourselves that we don't measure up. All the while we are looking at somebody else's pile and we don't see our own pile of blessings. No wonder we are all walking around sick with something all the time... Jealousy is eating away at our being.
How successful would we feel if we lived out, way out not surrounded by people daily? Not bombarded by advertisement telling is what we need? How satisfied would we feel with out lives if we only measured our lives to our lives from a year ago? How intelligent would we feel if we only measured out knowledge against our knowledge from a year ago? How successful would we feel if we only measure our abilities against our abilities from a year ago? And if we paid attention to our lives and our selves in such a way....wouldn't we feel less need for the attention of other people? Wouldn't we be better to attend to other people?
Wanting more out of life, wanting more for ourselves, our families for our friends is a good thing, it does help us grow, but it is only growing us if we want more to better ourselves for the good of our life, the lives of our families and the people around us. Wanting more so people will notice us, only makes us notice ourselves even less, it actually stunts true growth. It even makes our bodies sick.
I think I need to learn to ask myself, why do I want this? Why do I want to know this? Will this grow me? Will this benefit my family? Will this enable me to do kindness for others? Then I need to be honest, totally honest with myself when I answer. If what I want is so the world can see me...I am moving in the wrong direction, I am acting out of jealousy. If it will better me, my family, my friends, my relationship with God then I am moving in the right direction,then I am growing, not having and that makes all the difference!