Lately, envy has been eating away at my heart.
That’s really hard to admit because envy is a sin and sin is ugly… so this is basically me ushering you into one of the super ugly parts of my heart. Welcome. I wish I could offer you some coffee or cookies to make it prettier.
But, that’s the truth. Envy is my signature sin. It’s the one my heart runs to first, though its probably the only sin that doesn’t even offer a bit of sweetness. It only steals joy, never promises it. And some days I bathe in its stench.
I think maybe its just because Jesus has given me some really incredible friends. No lie, my friends are all exquisite. Not only are they beautiful on the outside, but they’re world travelers and Jesus lovers and making big moves and big waves. Each of them is furthering the gospel in their places of work, they’re building families, they’re taking Jesus by the hand and drop kicking life in the face. And I look at their loveliness and their feats and instead of cheering them on with selfless love, I look at my life and how I look and see how I compare.
I frequently ask myself the following questions:
“Whit, why don’t your thighs look like hers? I think that’s how thighs are probably supposed to look.”
“Woah, she’s going where? How much longer do you have to stay cooped up in Nash until Jesus finally gives you an adventure?”
“She started a business? Whit, when are you gonna get to make a business out of your passions? When are you gonna get to start working from home in your sweatpants?”
“Wait… she has that much free time to work on her art? Honestly Whit, when are you ever gonna have the time to devote to your passions without teetering on the edge of exhaustion and burnout?”
It’s a problem. Obviously. So imagine my face when I read the following psalm during my quiet time…
“Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound.” Psalm 4:7
Lol. Just call me out, Jesus. I’m here for it.
But seriously, I read that a million times over. Fill my heart with joy! We should rejoice when our brothers and sisters are reaching hearts for the kingdom. We should be truly, truly glad for them when they receive the gifts that our hearts have been asking for… even if we’ve been begging Jesus for them for years. We should be able to cheer them on knowing that gifts are nothing in comparison to the Giver… and the Giver is ours forever and speaks His irrevocable love over us time and time again.
Here’s the reality: my friends are receiving great gifts. They truly are. And I’m so thankful they’re getting to live such sweet seasons, I know Jesus is gonna use it to shape each of them even more into His image. But here’s the thing: Jesus hand-picked my reality, including my gifts, to mold me into His image. Right now, Jesus sees it fit that I work a job on top of all my vlogging and blogging and songwriting. He sees it fit that I stay right where He’s planted me, which is in Franklin… and ya know what? He’s blessed me with a whole bunch of goodies to make faithfulness on my end a lot more practical and comfortable. That’s a kind God.
Because here’s why envy is so ugly: when I set my gaze on other people’s gifts, I overlook every God-given grace in my own life. When I envy other people’s adventures, I overlook the SUV that Jesus plopped in my lap that makes my dreams of car camping and toting around kayaks possible. When I look at other people’s businesses and creative ventures thriving, I forget that Jesus has given me a job at Honest that I love. He’s given me a family through my job, which also happens to surround me with my favorite thing on this planet: coffee. And no amount of sweatpants are worth trading my community and friends for.
Friends, no matter if you’re in a season of plenty or of wanting, Jesus knows your circumstances and is orchestrating them for your good… even if what’s best for you is the pruning of your soul. There is a lot to be proud of in seasons of stupid hard (and unseen) work. There are a lot of lessons to be learned that don’t come in seasons of ease and lots of idols that are exposed in seasons of desperation. So, let’s cheer on our siblings in Christ with hearts full of thankfulness, letting our own gifts point us to Jesus and knowing that nothing can take away the joy we have in the ultimate Gift Giver.
All my love,