Mint Green Envy - Encouragement Café - August 23, 2017

Mint Green Envy
By Noelle Dey

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. James 3:16 NLT

With His unbelievable creativity and humor, God turned my mundane errand into an embarrassing life lesson.  I had just picked my daughter up from school and we were on our way to buy groceries.  As I approached the red light, I noticed a truck in my rear view mirror. 

He wove in and out, cutting cars off so he could be right next to me at the front of the line.  I checked out the rude driver in his souped-up Ford 350 using my peripheral vision.  He was watching the opposite signal, ready to pounce on the gas as soon as our light turned green.

My response? Well, I did what any mild-mannered, middle-aged, Japanese woman in a mint green minivan would do.  I gunned it.  The second our light turned green, I floored the gas.  Once I felt my pedal on the ground, I pressed even harder.  Mr. 350 was caught off-guard.  I stuck with him for a few seconds until he got aggressive and edged me out.

Even though I lost, I was filled with pride

That’ll teach him,

I whispered to myself.  Just then I glanced in my rear view mirror.  Speechless, my daughter’s pale face said,

What the heck just happened?

Then I saw the other cars that were 50 yards behind me.  As I came up on another signal, I realized I would have to face those drivers when they caught up to me at the red light.  And I knew darn well they would give me the stink eye (rightfully so).

Just then, it felt like Jesus sat down in the passenger’s seat because I could hear these questions as if they were audible,

Really?  Was that really called for?  Did you not realize that you’re in a mint green minivan?  Oh, and by the way, that’s your daughter in the booster seat.

Why can’t I be satisfied with my lot in life? I measure myself up against others and jealousy inevitably overpowers contentment.  My mint green minivan holds my amazing husband and our wiggly little girl. 

It’s big enough to pack all of our luggage and our mountain bikes so we can go on road trips.   And it gets good mileage when I’m not racing Ford 350’s.

Am I alone in my mint-green-with-envy support group?  Have you ever judged yourself with someone else’s measuring stick?  Do you struggle with your self-esteem?  Do you feel less-than when someone outshines you?

Sometimes we catch ourselves fighting jealousy on heart and mind levels.  We feel less spiritual or not as smart.  When that occurs, we can meditate on Romans 12:4-6,

Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

We need others to be more mature in their faith to mentor us.  And we need others to have more knowledge where we are lacking.  Otherwise, we’d have a body with too many eyes, but without a nose!

What about the inevitable times when we fight jealousy because someone has what we view as a better body?  Have you ever thought of how boring this world would be if we all had the same physiques?  You are God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)!  You are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27)! 

You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)!  Notice that these Scriptures are talking to YOU… not the person next to you!

Once we understand these truths, we have the freedom to move away from jealousy and mint-green envy… and we learn to be content with where we are in our unique journeys. 

That allows us to take the needed steps to become healthier in our hearts, minds and bodies.  Let’s trade out jealousy and choose to be inspired by others instead.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for being so creative when You made us.  Thank You that You love and adore us.  You never compare us to others.  Help us to follow Your lead so we can be content in our journeys as we grow in our intimacy with You… as we strengthen our minds to focus on godly things… and as we honor our bodies as Your dwelling place.  In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen!

© 2017 by Noelle Dey. All rights reserved.

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Originally published Wednesday, 23 August 2017.