Serious Case of Envy


Do you think your natural gifts and talents are somehow "less than" or not good enough? Don't believe the lie!

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

My friend Carla always had a knack for decorating her home and making people feel welcome.

Everything she created was masterful. From picture-perfect decorations to adorable seasonal food, she made it all look effortless.

I, on the other hand, don’t have that kind of crafty talent.

Carla and I were friends from church and spent time together regularly. For every season and holiday, even the minor ones, Carla had just the right touch to decorate fabulously and show others hospitality.

Over time I began to compare myself to her and believed my creative skills didn’t measure up. I thought my meager efforts to make my house into a home fell ridiculously short of the ideal.

I once grumbled to my husband Steve, that I couldn’t believe Carla even had matching curtains for the holidays! I wish I had been proud of my friend for using her gifts and talents, but deep down, I felt insecure and had a serious case of envy.

Thankfully, Steve wisely reminded me how matching curtains weren’t the only gifts God could use. I didn’t need to have the same talents Carla did; God had wired me differently.

His gentle response reaffirmed me: “Can Carla play piano like you did for the worship team last weekend? Did she serve on the building committee and brainstorm ways to involve the church?”

His comments opened my eyes to the lie I had believed. Somehow I believed my friend got the better talent. And my natural gifts and talents were less than and not good enough.

Whether it’s at home, on the job, with a friend or as a mom, I often need an objective source — be it a godly friend or God’s Word — to help me see a lie at face-value. I need reminders to focus on truth.

Our minds are often a spiritual battleground. We have a very real enemy who tries to capture our thoughts and bring us down with lies. But God wants to take our false narratives and re-write the script. He’s given us divine power to take control of our thoughts through the power of His Spirit.

In 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, the apostle Paul reminds us that our enemy doesn’t fight the way the world does. But God has given us everything we need to have the victory. Paul writes: “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (NIV).

It’s definitely not easy though. It seems I’m always wrestling with my thoughts because these internal battles are just so … daily. Maybe I don’t have the most craft-oriented skill set, but that doesn’t excuse me from fulfilling whatever else God has called me to do.

Sadly, my friend Carla passed away last year, dying all-too-young after a valiant battle with cancer. And although I’m still severely lacking in the crafty home décor area, each holiday since then my envious thoughts have been replaced by appreciation for what God did in and through her. With God’s help, I’m learning to appreciate His work in me, too.

Dear Lord, some days I’m capable of remembering my worth in Your eyes, but a lot of days I need some outside help to identify and capture my negative thoughts. Father, empower me with Your truth that You’ve made me to do great things for Your glory, and help me use the talents and gifts You’ve given me and not be envious of others’ abilities. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (NLT)

John 8:32, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (NLT)

If you’ve ever struggled with a false thought that you didn’t measure up to someone else’s talents, how did you handle it?

Think of a friend or family member who’s using her God-given talents in amazing ways. Send her a note, a text or a private message, thanking her for serving in her sweet spot.

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