Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Facebook is where I friended envy. She is the green-eyed monster.
There came a point last spring where I had to take a break from Facebook. One morning I woke up and realized that I was looking at other people’s lives every day as if they were flash cards, hard-wiring my brain to continually focus on all that I didn’t have: a husband, kids, an active social life, vacations, money….
I would sit in front of my laptop and see other people’s lives take off, their careers advance, their contributions noticed. Instead of becoming thankful for all the work God was doing in the lives of the people I knew, I became angry. I wished God was blessing my life in the same ways.
Facebook is where I friended Envy. She is the green-eyed monster.
I tried to keep this monster at bay, told myself it’s just part of human nature, but when I couldn’t handle it anymore, I closed my laptop, cried about it before God, and I told my girlfriends.
They did something about it.
The next week one of them showed up with this fabulous blog post and podcast, Smiting the Green-Eyed Monster. If you have 15 minutes or are struggling with envy yourself, I highly recommend it.
When we were done listening, we took out paper and markers, and my girlfriends wrote out all the things they were thankful for in their lives. I took a different route. On one page I wrote out a confession, detailing someone I was envious of and why. One the second page I wrote out a prayer, asking God to bless this person, thanking God for all the ways He has blessed their life. We went around the circle and shared our creations.
It was powerful.
Envy hasn’t totally un-friended me after one evening, but here’s what I’m learning about her:
1. Sometimes we need to take a break from social media. Not only because these tools can breed envy, but also because we need silence. Somewhere within the mixture of jealousy, covetousness, and envy, may lay honest desires. All of this needs to be unpacked and opened before God and maybe even a few good friends.
2. We can fight envy with thankfulness. When we see God at work in someone’s life, we have a tremendous opportunity to join Him in the work He is already doing by thanking Him and asking for His continual blessing. The diversity within the Body of Christ is breathtaking and sublime, but She is the most stunning when we are all playing our own unique role, not when we’re chasing after and trying to steal someone else’s part.
3. Finally, God really is enough. Not only for the people you see who are being blessed but also for you. I don’t think we always believe this is true because of the picture we carry. Sometimes the “enough” of God looks like cheap plastic wrap covering a bowl. It’s stretching and tearing, barely making a fit.
When in fact, I believe, the “enough” of God is like being covered in a big green priestly robe. You hold out your arms to discover that not only are the sleeves long enough, but the whole thing is made of generous amounts of fabric, rich and deep, covering us so we are ready to serve Him.
Has Facebook made you envious? How are you fighting it?