Life is easy for other people, but not for me.
Do you ever feel like that? Do you ever envy the apparent ease and simplicity of other’s lives? Like you’re the only person on planet earth who just can’t seem to get it together? Why do things seem to fall right into place for other people while all they seem to do is fall apart for you and me? The keyword here is seems. Because the truth of the matter is, this will resonate in some way with every single person who reads it. Even the people who you and I think have it all together.
None of us have it all together. I repeat, none of us have it all together.
So one thing we have to remember if we find ourselves wanting someone else’s life is that it probably isn’t all it seems to be. But even if it is —
If we are focusing on what others have and it’s resulting in envy and jealousy, we are operating in the flesh instead of the Holy Spirit.
When we are living as a vessel for God instead of our own needs and desires, it will be evident that we’re walking in the Spirit. The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Jealousy and envy are not God’s desires for our lives.
Three Steps to Take When You Envy the Life They Have
1. Celebrate other people’s success
When I feel envy or jealousy it’s usually when someone has just accomplished something that I want to accomplish myself. I know when I feel that I need to immediately celebrate that person’s success or I will let it eat away at me. Also because that person deserves to be celebrated! The truth is, I am seriously happy for other people in these situations. But I’m human and I’m over here feeling like it’s never going to happen for me and I sometimes get a little bitter. That’s not something I like to admit, but there it is.
So imagine, if you will, a little girl with her arms tightly crossed and her gaze locked on the floor in front of her as her mom tells her to say she’s sorry and say it like she means it. That’s me in these envy situations, except I’m the little girl and the mom. I’m the mom telling myself to wish that woman well, congratulate her because I do care and I am happy for her. At the same time I’m the little girl who really just wants to dwell on it in frustration and wonder why things aren’t happening for me faster.
But I’m here to tell you, celebrating that other woman feels so much better than being bitter and envious. In these situations my prayer is that God might fill me with his peace and that I would be able to see clearly the root of the feelings I am experiencing.
2. Be grateful for where you are and what you have
You’re probably saying, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” But if you really think about it, you have so much to be grateful for. I’m just admitting all kinds of things in this post that I’d rather not share, but I have to remind myself all the time that I am not entitled to anything. And if I don’t have it, there’s a good reason for that. There are so many unknowns for us in this life. Part of trusting God means being truly grateful for his sovereignty and trust that he knows what you don’t know. My prayer here would be one of complete gratitude, acknowledging who God is and what he has done for me.
3. Remind yourself of what you really value
Earlier I mentioned operating in the flesh versus operating in the Holy Spirit. Matthew 6:21 says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. I come back to this so often. One minute I’m all like, “Nothing matters but God and his purpose. So I’m cool with whatever happens.” The next minute I’m wondering why what I want isn’t what I’ve got. But wait, supposedly what I wanted was what God wanted. Wait, how did I get so off track again? Oh the humanity! (Go ahead, Google this reference. I totally did) I repeat, none of us have it all together.
The point here is to say that I believe that even when our hearts value and crave God and his will, our flesh and the enemy will constantly try to pull us away from that. We have to intentionally keep our focus on what we really value and when we get off track, get ourselves back to that ASAP.
Distraction from the truth has proved to be one of my biggest enemies in my walk with God. I don’t know about you, but it’s a struggle. I know it’s partially just an area of my faith that I need to mature in. But I also know that I will never become a super human who doesn’t need grace. My prayer response here would be to ask God to help me fix my focus on him, no matter my circumstances.
If you’ve ever struggled with wanting what someone else has, give me a shout out in the comments. Let’s encourage each other to fix our focus!