Sunday, April 1, 2012

Bitter, Angry, Jealous? Make Sense...

The comment: 
I struggle with jealousy of my sister. She has, by my definition, done so many things wrong. She has never done anything the "right" way including kids and marriage and yet she gets so many blessings just showered on her all the time. She does so much "wrong" and yet people give them things all of the time and even when she messes up completely, someone is there to make everything okay and clean up the mess for her so she has no consequences. I'm not jealous of her life, I'm jealous of her untouchable life and that she gets "saved" from being hurt all of the time. I feel like I deserve the things that she has and that she deserves the things that happen to me. I love her so much but I am so bitter. Every time that I think I have healed, repented, and moved on from the jealousy, it sneaks up in the times that I am angry (especially right now). I don't know how to take the next step because my jealousy and anger are eating me alive. I am thankful for second chances as well but I don't know how to receive it because I do not deserve it. I need a way out of the darkness so that I don't have to be bitter anymore. I love her and we always joke to each other about how "lucky" she is but in the end, its the thing that keeps me awake at night. Why do I think I deserve what she has and why am I angry? Do I really, deep deep down not believe God's promises? And why do I think that I deserve anything at all, when in reality, if I was dealt what I deserve, it would be anything but good things.
When I read this I immediately thought of when Jesus said, "Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him." 

It sucks. It really really does.

It sucks because we long for equality. We long for fairness. We exist in this mentality where people should get what they deserve, or not get what they don't deserve. We live in a time where you should get what you work for. Good people should have good things happen to them and bad people should have bad things happen to them. It's how we've been brought up. And it's why we battle with the question, 'Why do bad things happen to good people?'...because it seems so opposite of how life should be.

Unfortunately, this 'fairness' doesn't really exist. But, for whatever reason, the lessons engraved in us as young children aren't easily shaken. We tend to still hope that when we work really hard we'll always get straight A's, be the lead in the musical, be the starter on the basketball team, get into our ideal school, get the dream job, be blessed with the perfect man.... have everything to us handed on a platter because of all the 'good' and 'right' things we've done, been, said. That when we work hard we will be acknowledged and praised and credit will be given where credit is due.

But, inevitably, something catastrophic happens. Someone gets cancer, you lose the job, you get in a car accident, you can't cover your rent, you get knocked up from your only one-night stand, you drop your cell phone in the toilet.... all while the person next to you, the person who is mean and selfish and prideful and everything you're not, gets everything you've ever wanted. They're getting the recognition for the things you've worked long and hard for. We're naturally angry and bitter and confused.

I think most of us don't believe fully in God's promises. I think most of us are stuck in temporal mindset...and because we can't see the big picture, it's almost impossible for us to step outside of our circumstances and believe that there's a greater purpose. It's almost impossible for us to step outside of ourselves and even want to see how the unfairness could potentially be for a greater good. We want what we want when we want it... and when we think we deserve it, that's a whole new ball game.

I think you're in a good spot--mostly because I think you have some knowledge of the fact that you don't deserve much (because of how much you've already been saved from through Christ). That's something many of us live our whole lives struggling to grasp. So, there's a foundation that's here... it's just a matter of getting the point where you live out of it. Where you live out of a place where you're just so thankful for what you do have, never feeling like you need more. Living out a place where you are satisfied.

It's not something I have an answer to, as I'm still usually thinking I deserve things myself. I'd say the bigger issue here is the debilitating anger and jealousy that you have. If we can get to a place where, when you're lying awake at night, you're pleading that the Lord would instill His truth in you... I do believe He will provide.

Instead of allowing the list of things to build of what your sister has that you don't have, of what your sister has that she doesn't deserve but you'll actively have to stand firm against those thoughts. This is what I think Paul means when he tells us to take every thought captive. When we allow these thoughts to fester, that's when sin happens. It's what James talks about in James 1... our own evil desires are the things that drag us away and entice us.

In those moments, instead of compiling that list... beg that the Lord would make you ever-aware of how good He's already been to you. Beg that He would remind you of what you really deserve. Pray that He would supernaturally give you an eternal perspective. Beg that He would change your heart to want more for those around you than yourself.

I think He'll hear you.
I think He'll provide.

Only He can change your heart...but there's a certain perseverance and discipline required.
'Cause sometimes, life just isn't 'fair'... and how we respond to that can speak volumes.
And then it's much bigger than you or me and what we do or don't deserve in this life...

There's a way out of the darkness. Every time.
Keep walking toward the light.

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