Friday, December 28, 2012

The "J" Word

Today's Unglued Blog Update
Hey y'all! Did you miss me? Sorry to be out so long...I can't seem to get it together when I have house guests in order to get up to do my Quiet Time (I'm praying about that cause I long for & desire my time with God, EVERYDAY!). And when I don't get my Quiet Time in, I don't get my blog in.
As usual...I'm just mainly putting what Lysa has said in her book with some (very little--actually maybe not at all today) of my own insight/thoughts.
The memory verse (yea, I haven't gotten any of these memorized yet) for this chapter:
Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load. ~Galatians 6:4-5

I don't struggle with jealousy often (at least not too much any more). But when it does sneak into my heart, it's a terrible feeling. Research shows there's a perfect storm of conditions that seem to come together when jealousy occurs. According to a Yale University study, social-comparison jealousy occurs when the following 3 conditions are present: (1) a person receives negative personal feedback (2) in a domain of life that is important to them, & (3) they believe another person is performing successfully in that same domain. In the study, those who experienced social-comparison jealousy were found to disparage the other person & experience feelings of depression & anxiety.

And when I get jealous, I can sometimes act like a toddler.
Oh how I see jealousy with the girls! As a matter of fact, 1 phrase you will hear Jamie say (especially on Thursdays) is I am skipping 3, I want to be 4! See, 4 is apparently a magical age in our get to chew gum, ride in a booster seat, & that's how old you have to be to go to Cheer practice. They also are of course jealous of getting to play with a toy the other one has or spending individual time with Mommy. We aren't jealous over boys yet, but I have a feeling the picture will happen at sometime in our lives.

There are all kinds of areas that are "its" in life where these 3 conditions have been present. And when that's experienced, I have felt the sting of rejection or negative feedback in an area that was important to me & watched as other people seemed to be effortlessly blessed in that very area.
The boyfriend "it": If only I had a date to the dance. I felt ugly.
The friend "it": If only I could be friends with her. I felt left out.
The life management "it": If only I could get it together. I felt incapable.

I let these comparisons & the anxiety they create negatively affect my relationships, my mood, & my confidence to pursue my dreams. The ugly truth is, comparison steals celebrations. And a life void of celebration is an empty life. I stop celebrating my own good & have a really hard time celebrating others' good.

I get empty when I park my mind on comparison thoughts & wallow in them. Nothing good grows in this place; as James 1:15 says, "Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." No jealous thought is ever life-giving. Wallowing in jealous thoughts actually leads to death. Death of contentment. Death of friendships. Death of peace. And certainly death of joy.

Jealousy & envy cut deeper & deeper until I bleed empty. I lose perspective on what I do have & soon focus only on what I don't have. It's at this point that I sit back & say, "Okay, I get all that. I know this is truth. I know jealousy isn't good. It's not as if I enjoy it, ask for it to haunt me, or even want it in my life. But it's there. So, what's a girl to do? Just having someone say don't feel jealous doesn't help me. Having someone point out a fault without offering a solution just makes me feel even more unglued." (I totally agree with that!)

The best solution -- the only solution -- is pure truth from God's Word.

The Galatians verses about reaping what you sow are part of a larger passage that offers some revealing teaching. It includes a two-step plan of action for when I'm struggling with jealousy: I need to carry my own load (Galatians 6:4-5), & then carry some love to others (Galatians 6:9-10).

Stay tuned for the next Unglued Blog Update about carrying my own load.

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