Sometimes I’ve tried to dress up my envy. Instead of thinking of myself as “green with envy,” I prefer emerald, or maybe chartreuse.
I have many friends who are gifted with home decorating and design. This is not one of my strong suits. Their homes just seem so put together, so pottery barn, so… homey. So I become envious of them; of their good-looking homes and their skill in arranging them. And instead of heading toward a path of humility, love, growth and appreciation I have found myself feeling, all-of-the-sudden, critical and superior.
My jealousy takes a journey and lands somewhere between arrogance and pride–a place probably best named self-righteousness. And self-righteousness is so insidious, because when it’s happening I don’t recognize it as such, I just think things like, “well, that must have cost a lot of money, we spend our money more carefully,” or, “hmm, that probably took a lot of time and I prefer to spend my free time improving my mind with reading or playing with the children.” See what I mean? Emerald envy.
Somehow I must twist the situation around to make my decisions better than theirs and discount their gift of making a lovely home. The truth is that if I were able, I would have a home that looked just like theirs and all my reasons of why I don’t (reasons created to make me feel superior) would be right out the curtain-hung window. And so envy has morphed into a new, uglier creature…definitely not the emerald I had in mind.
“But now let me show you a more excellent way,” to quote Paul in 1 corinthians 13. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy; it does not boast. It is not proud.” Instead of indulging in envy that careens toward pride, I can put it to death with a thankful heart. Thankfulness makes me recognize others giftings and be happy about them, because my thankfulness is ultimately to God, not man. It makes me content with the Creator who gave them one apptitude and me another. The thankfulness and love I have toward God translates to love for others. My envy becomes appreciations; my self-righteousness is now humility.
And if you are a friend of mine reading this blog, you probably have the gift of making a lovely home. Rest assured, I am grateful for you…for many reasons, one of which is that you can come to my house and help me with any home decor issues I may be having. 🙂
Comments welcome (about the topic of envy, or, home decorating tips…).