Tuesday, September 15, 2015

When Others Have What We Desire

This weekend I had the opportunity to go to a retreat in South Lake Tahoe that was hosted by our church. The classes were excellent! Five young brothers spoke on the topic of combating anger, pride, greed and envy while instead filling yourself with their opposites-- love, compassion, contentment and charity. While I enjoyed all the classes, the one that resonated with me the most was the class on envy, because it's something I need to think about more. I never realized before how much my attitude is sometimes filled with envy of others.

Without even realizing it, sometimes I look at others and wish that some aspect of my life was like theirs. If I'm being completely honest, the thing I envy most in others is the ability to make friends. I have truly amazing friends whom I absolutely love, but at the same time, I have always struggled making new friends. I also struggle just being able to make casual conversations with people who I don't know very well. I just feel awkward and uncomfortable. So when I see others who are fun and bubbly, to me it seems like everyone must just love them. I find myself wishing that I was likeable like that. 
Proverbs 14:30 - A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/buzzvine/7-important-scriptures-about-jealousy-and-envy-126111/#CAmJGp5y4Mi1tIGZ.99

Proverbs 14:30: A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot. 

In this class, we were reminded just how deadly envy can be. It makes you believe that you aren't good enough or that what you have isn't good enough. It idealizes other's lives when you really don't see the whole picture. Even people who are good at making friends probably feel awkward sometimes. And even if they don't, they have other struggles that I will never know about. 

The best way to battle envy is by becoming content. God has given you what He knows you need. It is enough. 

Now that I have come to realize how much envy sometimes consumes me, I know I need to do something about it. I will strive to focus more on being thankful for the gifts that I do have rather than envying those who have gifts that I do not. I can also strive to be a better "people-person." Easier said than done, right? But my brother, Justin, who gave the class, shared this list of ways to be content. I think it is a wonderful, practical way of embracing contentment in your life and I encourage you to check it out!

Philippians 4:12-13: I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

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