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  • Writer's pictureNelly Thiessen

Joy in a Jealous World

Joy, Joy, Joy Down in my Heart…

What steals joy quicker than anything else?

From my experience its comparison or rather, the last commandment God told Moses to write down over 2000 years ago, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Exodus 20:17

We might not envy someone’s donkey, but this commandment is still relevant, more than ever. In our current generation, comparing our lives has never been easier. In our hands we can scroll through a feed of influencers, celebrities or maybe even your friends or co workers everyday lives. We see their beautiful homes, ones we could only ever dream of. We see their chiseled bodies without a single flaw. We see those people that just bought their third home, and we can’t help but feel we aren’t accumulating wealth and material possessions fast enough. We see everybody, all the time at their absolute best. How can we not compare? Unfortunately falling into the trap of comparing our lives to others can become messy and our hearts can quickly become clouded in sin and we might have this desire for “more” or we might not feel genuine love and happiness for others. We begin to form this idea of what our life should look like and no longer feel gratitude towards the many blessings God has given us.

The bible has so many verses about this topic that are great to memorize in times you find yourself falling into that deceitful trap. Because this can be a “hidden” sin (not from God though!) like pornography, it can be hard to do a heart check on this sin because you only have yourself to hold accountable. It might not seem like a profoundly serious sin, but it can take a toll on your spirit. “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones” Proverbs 14:30. Being in prayer when struggling and not brushing this off is so important.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. Timothy 6:10

Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Luke 12:15

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,..” Colossians 3:23

Living in our 1200sqft home that needs some updating, I often find myself feeling restless and anxious about keeping up with the Jones. This is something I’ve been in prayer about. There is also the pressure that I know many women (and men!) have, and that is the physical appearance of my body. The more time I spend in prayer about this, the more content and at peace I feel. I know that we are all in different seasons of life and we will never feel fulfilled chasing other peoples lives! It can be discouraging seeing people we feel are in the same season in life as us become more successful in the world, but God has an individual purpose for each of us, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” Jeremiah 1:5

Reflecting this past Easter Sunday on what Jesus did for me and everyone else, the act of pure love, I know my purpose is not to keep up with the world. Its to tell the world all about Jesus! This is so much greater and will fill my life with so much more joy than wondering how someone was able to afford that sweet new ride, or how that mom of 4 is in better shape than me!

I hope this leaves you feeling a little more encouraged in this big world filled with so much “stuff” and desire.

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