Are you angry at God for blessing your neighbor differently than he has blessed you? Has your envy of their blessing so clouded your judgement that you can’t see the blessings that God has bestowed, and is still bestowing upon you?
This evening I was telling my two girls, “girls, when I was at Walmart I saw a really good deal on some shirts, but I could only find them in AJ’s size, so I got a couple.”… Then my oldest interrupted before I could even finish the entire story. She angrly demanded to know why I did not get her something. She didn’t know that I had actually picked her a new pair of cute new headphones, but I never had a chance to bring that part up, given the anger in the moment and the cloud of envy hovering overhead about the shirts AJ had gotten.
So given it was the drive home, God put it on my heart to use this as an opportunity to teach them something about these things. Not revealing to KayeLee (my oldest) about her blessing, the new headphones, yet. So I spoke to them on this and told them, “You can’t be angry at your neighbor for the blessings they’ve been given, just because you were not blessed in the same way. AJ is your neighbor, your blessings are not always going to be given at the same time or in the same way, but when you truly love your neighbor, you will automatically be blessed when you see them blessed. Don’t let the devil shift your focus, his only goal is to bring envy and division. Be happy for your neighbors blessings, and remember that God blesses you in different ways, so thank Him for those and be happy for their’s. Your love for them aught to make you happy for their blessings.”
They understood the lesson, apologies were given, and forgiveness extended. When we got home, I asked KayeLee if she understood everything and learned from the lesson how to respond when AJ is blessed differently then her, she said yes. I then gave her the headphones I had purchased for her that she did not even know I bought, because she had been so focused on steaming about AJ receiving the shirts, that she had not given thought to the possibility that I had gotten her something else. She assumed she had gotten nothing and this was a false assumption, all because it was not the same as her sister had received.
She was happy about her gift, and regretted pitching a fit about what she thought was “her missing out” on a gift when AJ received hers, only because they were different.
Our blessings are not the same as our neighbor, and they are not always granted at the same time as our neighbor. We can trust the timing of our blessings and even be grateful when they are different from our neighbor. Love them, and be glad of their blessings, don’t forget all of the ways God has uniquely blessed you too. Trust God that He knows what you need WHEN you need it, and when the devil aims to tempt you with the lie that your neighbor’s blessing is better than yours, hoping to make envy rise up in you and create division, remember that he is a liar, and instead be glad of every blessing your neighbor receives. Envy is a distraction from our own blessings from God. In His unique love to us as individuals among his children, He often blesses us differently from one another.
“A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.” – Proverbs 14:30
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” – Hebrews 13:5
Submitted by Amelia Barr