Thursday, July 22, 2010

It Is Insidious

Main Entry: in·sid·i·ous
Pronunciation: \in-ˈsi-dē-əs\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin insidiosus, from insidiae ambush, from insidēre to sit in, sit on, from in- + sedēre to sit — more at sit
Date: 1545
1 a : awaiting a chance to entrap : treacherous

It is amazing to me sometimes how quickly we, or more specifically me, can fall back into old habits or ways of thinking. It can happen in the blink of an eye and you are right back in the middle of something that you have struggled so hard to get out of.

For me that has always been envy.

I used to be consumed by envy. And I don’t think that consumed is too strong a word. It pervaded my thinking. It directed my actions. The evil one had it firmly entrenched, so firmly that I often couldn’t see the good things in my life because I was focusing on what I thought was missing. Envy, wanting to be what others were, is partly why I now have to spend time and effort cleaning my house and life of things that I don’t want, that I never truly wanted but that I acquired in my envious quest.

Envy is really just one big long running lie that your sinful heart speaks to you. It tells you that what you have isn’t enough, or isn’t good enough. That what is on the other side of the fence is better. That someone’s marriage is better than yours. That someone’s house or clothes or kids or whatever is better than yours and that for you to happy you need to be/do/possess what they do. That THEY are better than you and others will like them better unless you become what they are and have what they have.

Envy doesn’t come on you one day out of the blue. If it did then you would recognize it for what it was and “nip it in the bud” to quote Barney Fife. No, envy is insidious. It starts small and slow. It worms it’s way into your heart and head and starts to grow, so slowly that you just don’t see it, you just don’t recognize it for what it is until it is full blown there. A 7 Deadly Sins cancer if you will.

It says that who you are and what you are aren’t good enough.

And that is just wrong.

The recover from envy, for me at least, has come from the letting go of the feelings of unworthiness. Of seeing, with the Lords help BIG TIME, that I am not defined by my possessions or what others think of me. Of seeing me as the Lord sees me. And it was a long time in getting to this point.

OK Deb, so where are you going with this rambling shambling post or are we just taking a rather boring stroll down unhappy memory lane here.

No, I have a point (and not the one on the top of my head). It is that you can’t ever say you have conquered envy. Because it can come back like an itchy rash when you least expect it.

Case in point. Obviously we have our house for sale. Well so does our next door neighbor. So, I look out this morning and there are a whole raft of cars parked on the cul de sac and people are going up her driveway.

Huh?? What is happening over at Heidi’s house I wonder.

Oh man she must be having a “broker’s open house” because a couple of those women are in skirts and oh my gosh why are so many brokers coming to her open house and so few came to ours and what is wrong with our house that we didn’t get this many people to come and what if she sells her house before ours and why didn’t brokers like our house and…….

And guys, that is really what I thought. And the green eyed envy monster just came right in, said, “Howdy where do I put my bags?” and I was right back there in the midst of the envy. I didn’t even have to blink an eye.

And that is scary.

I was literally about to be consumed. Filled with worry, filled with anxiety, filled with envy. Envy was just awaiting it’s chance to entrap and I opened the door and said hello and come on in and can I brew you a cup of REALLY bitter coffee.

When I am anxious I clean and straighten. I know, it is a sickness and someday I will get help I am sure. But my house is pretty clean and picked up and so there wasn’t a closet that I could soothe myself with. So I did what I should have done in the first place. I stopped and I spoke to the Lord.

“Lord, I just want to be in Your will here. I don’t know what is going on next door, I don’t want to make assumptions. I just want to be in your will in all things and I want to see this situation clearly.” And then I went and scrubbed my kitchen down again and tried not to look out the window.

But when I did look out the window again a few minutes later there were still cars there, in fact there were even MORE cars. But I noticed something else, some of the women going up the driveway had small children with them. I know that the housing market must be tough for agents these days but I would bet my bottom dollar that none of them are taking their kids to a Brokers Open House.

And then truth hit me, the reality that I hadn’t seen when I was blinded by my envy…

Garage Sale!

Heidi wasn’t having a Broker’s Open House that was better attended than mine. She was having a garage sale which is something that I hope never to have to do again.

I was so happy that I could have danced a jig…..but I restrained myself.

I wish I could end this rather rabbit trailing post with assurances that envy will never creep back in because I don’t think that I can ever say that I have conquered it, I am human after all. I can say that I am a recovering envyholic and with the Lord’s help I won’t be consumed. But it will only be with the Lord’s help.


  1. I'm dealing with some of that green eyed monster stuff myself lately. This was a good post for me to read today.

  2. I've jumped to conclusions and gotten myself all worked up over things that weren't true just like this. I have to focus on Philippians 4:8 and think only on what is true.


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