Envy & Jealousy vs. Praise & Thanksgiving

Have you ever been around a friend that seems to have it all together… perfect home, perfect marriage, and super-talented children? Someone may be sharing their personal or professional good news, their accomplishments and other life events, then you feel that pang of jealousy and envy creep in? Or maybe you are on the receiving end. Others seem to slight you for what appears to be the “perfect life.” Whatever side of that you may fall on, it hurts and it is painful. Jealousy is an ugly, embarrassing emotion and envy cuts even deeper.

For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.”  James 3: 16

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

Jealousy and envy are destructive.  Praise and thanksgiving are not.

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Moms in Prayer, in amazing ways, can change how we view, feel and react to other’s victories, other’s good news, other’s blessings. When you pray with someone regularly, you get to know them. Not at a surface level, but at a heart level. What I’ve realized is regardless of what appearances are, no one has a perfect life. We all have struggles.

When you hear a mother pray week after week, month after month, and sometimes year after year, and then see prayers answered; we can rejoice with them. Genuine rejoicing. A victory over a battle that was waged together. How it changed me to hear praise and thanksgiving for answered prayers because many times I know the back-story behind that victory. It was not just, “Look at my son or daughter and all they have done or can do,” but more, “Look at what God, the creator of the universe, has done for us.” And, beyond that, I can rejoice, not just with my Moms in Prayer group, but with the other women in my life circle, knowing full-well we are all fighting the good fight for our children, our homes, our marriages.

No, not boasting, because that is as destructive as envy and jealousy.

James 3:14-15 says, “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual…” 

Yes, praise and thanksgiving. Thanksgiving for what God is doing in our lives.

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How foolish it then seems to struggle with envy and jealousy when we know, “every good and perfect gift comes from above…” (James 1:17), from the Almighty God in Heaven. Those are Christ’s victories and not just our own. We can truly come alongside that mom and laugh, even cry, not tears of sadness, but precious tears of joy for what Christ is doing. How He is answering and how He is faithful to our small group of prayer warriors. When we hear what is going right in each other’s lives; answered prayers, we can have such a pureness of love and joy that only comes when we see life through the filter of Christ’s love for each of us.

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Susan A. Vernick became a Christian and began a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in February 1993. A military wife, married to a US Army veteran, they have four children. Susan has led a local Moms in Prayer group for the past five years. Along with Christ, Moms in Prayer has changed her life and impacted her family in countless wonderful ways. She has a passion for writing about how Jesus changes lives through His amazing love. Susan writes devotionals and has been published in The Evangel and The Quiet Hour, a quarterly publication that provides daily inspiration through stories related to Scripture. She continues to write from her home in Upstate New York.

Comments 4

  1. Yes, thank you for your discerning insights, Susan. I wasn’t fully aware of how to deal with these feelings in myself or hearing it in conversation when coming upon them, so your article pinpointed the contrast well! I can help replace awkward silence with words of encouragement and thoughts of rejoicing alongside my dear sisters based on what you shared here. I look forward to reading more or your blogs!

  2. So beautifully said, Teresa. Love the ” trust, trust, trust” message! Something I need more, more and more of! <3

  3. Thank you, my friend. One of life’s greatest treasures has been rejoicing with my sisters over answered prayer! And even when jealousy tries to sneak in, we can take such comfort in knowing that He who has perfect wisdom is on our side. When He’s got his arms around “her,” He also has his arm around me and what’s going on in my life. He masterfully works out what is best for each of us. TRUST TRUST TRUST has been my theme song lately!!

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