Originally published Friday, 07 October 2016.
Eyes trying to peep over the counter, they stood on tippy-toes. They were close, yet far enough the glass window preventing them from grabbing it. No touching allowed! They watched, as she ladled on the batter, shaped it, then carefully added the chocolate chips, marshmallows and graham crackers. Like pent up children ready to bust into Christmas, they knew, I knew - something monumental was about to happen. Yet, I also knew WWIII might breakout...
The second the gigantic crepe was in their hand, I heard it,
"Mine, mine, mine."
He watched, she took a bite, "My bite wasn't as big as hers!"
She watched, yelling, "He got 2 bites."
He ripped it a chunk as quickly as he could.
So did she.
He looked at us with frustration, "Why can't I have more."
She grabbed it and stared right at him, "Look what I have."
They were so honed in on what the other had,
they missed what they had.
So focused on the other's portion,
they missed the chance to enjoy theirs.
So eager to win in the moment, they ruined it.
How often do we sour our sweet moments?
God, you should have given that to me. Why does she have the voice and the brains? Why don't my kids act like that? How come every door is open for her to walk through? Why did she get the promotion and I didn't? When will it be my turn? Why do I have to be the heavier one?
We sour sweet moments when we believe God hands us second-best.
I sat in church today. Up on the screen, they announced the women's conference of all women's conference. They showed the speakers perfect smiling faces, they highlighted their glorified messages, their idealized lives and their heart to bring Jesus to stadium-filled masses. Why aren't I the model spokesperson for Jesus? I wanted their shoes.
They soured my sweetness.
The good in me went rancid.
My husband whispered,"Kelly, are you going to that event?"
"No way," I whispered. "I am far too jealous."
I didn't want to go off.
Because I've come to see... women who walk with unaddressed sin are walking time bombs. As time passes, something ticks them off. And it is never pretty.
I don't want to live exploding jealousy, but exploding love.
So, when I see even the smallest elements, I stop. I just shut it all down - and look. I look for Jesus. And, what I've come to see is he leads me, Willy Wonka-style, not into a big chocolate vat - but into the waves of my heart.
When you, first, seek Jesus' heart, you find yours.
New rhythms of humanity surface. I see humans just like me. I see different missions for different children. I see that other's great callings in no way diminish mine. I see a daddy meeting me in the gap, with love. I see it all. When I invite Jesus in.
What has soured your sweetness?
Is it a neighbor who is a little show-offy?
A colleague who always does right?
A winner who never loses?
A beautiful gal who, you figure, is BFF with the mirror?
An outgoing one who has it all together?
A successful one who is at the top of the charts?
A relationship you are not a part of?
I think about that crepe again. From another angle, it truly could have represented sugar cubes. That is how sweet it was. But, my kids enjoyed it as much as rock soup.
Jealousy steals our sweetest blessings, so we can't even see them.
It's often, not that we don't have, but that we just don't see.
What we do see, though, is the girl on the left and the right. Eyes glued, we analyze her clothes, beauty, success and everything else. Then, jealousy speaks up louder - it speaks vile. Chit-chat, that's mean. Comparison, that's damaging. Actions, that scar people. Not only that, but it drives us right by God's plan.
We look back and say, "Where did God go?"
Well, we left him 4 blocks back, nearly right before we hit the lamppost on the side of the road.
Jealousy is crash-route for Christians. Ride or die - baby!
God, though, in his mercy, is something else; He is Savior. He offers us guardrails so we don't crash. They've saved me a time or two.
4 Guardrails for Jealous Hearts:
- Realize: All relationships are permissible, but not all relationships are profitable. If someone is gossipy or comparison-oriented, it may be time to step back.
"I have the right to do anything," you say--but not everything is beneficial. "I have the right to do anything"--but not everything is constructive. 1 Cor. 10:23
- Pray: If you lift a person up, instead of critiquing them, you might find you start to love them. You'll see purpose arise out of hatred.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Phil. 2:3-4
- Submit: Lay down and see the height of your Father's love for you. If you believe he is Creator, don't you believe he will create something amazing on your behalf?
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. Jo. 10:27
- Admire: If you can't deal with girl's God-shining glory on earth how will you endure God's numero-uno glory in heaven? You don't want to look like a fallen angel who can't handle God's glory, do you? Choose to admire his glory - in others - today so you can bask in it tomorrow.
Your sweetness is not found at the end of the yellow brick roads, friend, it is found at the end of yourself and the start of the Father that cannot contain his love for you. Get yourself there and your heart will get right.