Envy issues

This past Thursday, a colleague made a comment that got me thinking. I’ll call her Stylish Colleague, because she’s always stylish.

::Two other colleagues and I working together during conferences::

Stylish Colleague: Oh you guys, stop flaunting your collaboration in front of everyone. I’m so tired of it. I’m so envious of you working together. And deciding on how many points a test is worth together too!

We all laughed because she was just joking, but we also knew that she was being honest – she really is envious of us because she wished she had that in her own department.

I wondered if it bothered her though. I’m envious of Katy Perry’s singing ability, but it doesn’t really bother me that I don’t have that skill. It is not fun to be envious, and be bothered by it, and be reminded of that envy and that botheration constantly.

I’m envious when people I know form couples and there’s no longer any space for me.

I’m envious when people get to buy things without consideration of how it would impact their savings, or plans for other things.

I’m envious when people I know do things that I would like to join in on, but I’m not invited.

I’m a pretty envious person. I’m envious a lot. So when Stylish Colleague said she was envious of me, it struck me as something very strange. Why would someone be envious of me? Me, who have been envious of others on so many occasions, for so long?

God is a jealous God. How come He can express his jealousy, and it still isn’t a sin; while the kind of jealousy I express makes me a horrible human being?

This article says that there is a difference between righteous jealousy and possessive jealousy. Most of what people go through is the latter, while God’s is the former. God is jealous of our relationship because it is something that should be His to begin with. While most of my jealousies are petty and and stems from a desire to have something that isn’t mine.

Do I demand all my friend’s and family’s attention? No…at least I don’t think so. But there should be a spot reserved for me no?

Do I have a whole list of things I would like in a significant other? No…at least not anymore. But there is something missing in my life: a partner, someone to do life with. Isn’t that a promise God can fulfill?

The envy over money and purchasing power I can get over pretty easily. I would prefer that once I got over it, it doesn’t come back. However, that is not the case. So maybe I should ask for relief from envy – that I stop being so jealous altogether.

Nothing is mine. Even if I was married, that relationship and that person is not mine. Even if I had my dream house, it is not mine. Even if I had those kids that I’m starting to want for myself, they would not be mine. My job isn’t mine, the accomplishments of my students aren’t mine, the people I like to spend time with aren’t my own. I possess nothing that God didn’t give. So my jealousy is unfounded, would be unfounded even if I had all those things that I am jealous for.

Somehow, knowing that I possess nothing is freeing, almost a relief. I own nothing. Dust returns to dust.


Ok. It’s getting a bit too nihlistic and Ecclesiates-astical here. It’s time to end these depressing posts and return to the normally scheduled happy posts about achieving goals and things that make me happy.


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