Throwback Thursday: Jealous Thoughts and Assumptions

Yeah…it is Throwback Thursday here at Missy Baroff Ministries.  It is the time, we take a look back at some of my favorite posts.  Today I will be sharing one of my first ever blog posts, and one that is very close to my heart.  I pray it blesses you.

How to Thwart Jealousies and Assumptions (April 9, 2013)

I would like to take the time to share with you how God used one chapter in Lysa TerKeurst’s book Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl to change my life. I not only recommend that you all read it, but do the bible study as well.

You ever have one of those days when everything comes together perfectly? You are having a good hair day, got on a snazzy new outfit, cool boots, and you painted your fingernails and everything; the day couldn’t get any better, right? Then “she” walks in. Suddenly, you feel your hair going flat, your outfit is already out of style, your boots are smudged, and your nails are chipped. Man, how did that happen so fast? Did you just encounter a time warp? No, you got sidetracked by Satan.

You lost sight of what you liked about yourself in light of how someone else looked. Your mind immediately went to “a place of assumption and ungratefulness.” (Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl pg.99)

As women we tend to assume that just because someone is pretty, thin, rich, or whatever, they are happy and lead an amazing life. We assume this beautiful woman must have men falling over themselves to get to know her; when in reality, men are afraid to approach her. We assume that this woman is a “fashionista” and instinctively knows what to wear; when in reality, she spends hours and hours looking up the latest fashion trends because she is desperately afraid to lose her status. We assume this perfectly fit woman eats whatever she wants and never gains a pound; when in reality, she spends hours and hours working out and starving herself because she’s afraid her husband will leave her for a younger, skinnier woman.

We assume, but we don’t know.

We don’t know her hurts; we don’t know her victories; we don’t know her story. When we compare ourselves and make assumptions we often become ungrateful. We focus on the things we do not have instead of being grateful for the things we do have.

So what can we do about it?

We redirect our thinking. I know, once again, not the magic formula you were hoping for, but I promise you it will work if you try it.

2 Corinthians 10: 5 says to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.

We must get a hold of these thoughts as soon as they enter our mind and acknowledge them as thoughts of the devil.

The good things and the bad things in others’ lives are package deals. If you want the good things in their life, then you will also get the bad things (Becoming More pp. 99-100).

So, before you start wishing for someone else’s life, you might want to get the whole story. There have been several times in my life that I have wished for someone else’s life only to find out later that their life wasn’t what it seemed. Lysa also challenges us to tell ourselves the following:

I am not equipped for her good; I am not equipped for her bad; I am not equipped to carry the weight of her victories; I am not equipped to shoulder her burdens; I am not equipped to be her in any way; I am equipped to be me. (Becoming More pg. 102)

It may sound a little corny, but I have found it very useful. It helps remind me:

 God has called me for a specific purpose and if I am busy trying to live someone else’s purpose than no one will be living mine.

Lysa also made me see this verse in a whole new way as well:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

First of all, let us define the word “yoke”. A yoke is a wooden frame by which two draft animals are joined together and to whatever they pull.

Can you picture it in your mind? I can and the picture is not pretty. All I see is me being yoked to Jesus and Jesus pulling me along like dead weight with a trail of heel marks behind us.

Now, let’s look at the word “easy”. Easy as defined by Merriam-Webster is causing or involving little difficulty or discomfort; not severe; pleasant; marked by peace and comfort; and so on and so on.

These are the definitions I thought of when I read the verse originally. I thought Jesus was saying that if we do it His way our life will not be difficult. However, “easy” in the Greek language was often used to mean “well-fitted”. (Becoming More pg. 102)  In light of that, Lysa had a different take on the passage.

He has equipped each of us with well-fitted assignments in life. As long as we do and aspire to what he calls us, our burden will not only be manageable, it will be light(Becoming More pg. 103).

I really have found this interpretation to be accurate. Looking back at my life, I was the most miserable when I was doing something I knew I wasn’t supposed to be doing, serving where I wasn’t supposed to be serving, and living differently than I should have been living.

In addition, Lysa’s interpretation helped me realize just how well God knows us. God knows our purpose. He gives us gifts and talents to carry out that purpose. He knows where we struggle and what will take us away from our purpose. I strongly believe all this goes into consideration when we are made. As a woman, I struggle with modesty. I dress for appearance and fashion sake and do not give much thought to what others may see or think. I often joke, but I believe there is truth here, the reason I am 5’2″ and chubby is because I would have a much greater modesty struggle if I was a 6′ supermodel (aka: going to the grocery story in my bikini).

I never thought I was a jealous person. I never coveted material things like many others I. As long as I could pay my bills and have a few wants, I was pretty satisfied. No problems here, right? Wrong! I struggled with jealousies that are not easily seen. I struggled with comparisons in my physical appearance and my spiritual life.

Once again, the next time you feel jealousies arising,

  1. Concentrate oh having a grateful heart and be thankful for all the things you are and the blessings and purpose God has given you;
  2. Remember, you don’t know this person’s story.  You only know what you see.  Often times, things aren’t as good as they appear (especially on Facebook).  Once again, if we want the person’s good, we have to take their bad…..and that, my friends, is often more than we are willing to bear.
  3. Evaluate your life.  Are you working in ministries where you feel led by Holy Spirit?  Are you doing things because God called you to do them or because that is what people want and expect you to do?  Are busy trying to live someone else’s purpose?   Remember, God has equipped you with specific qualities to fulfill your purpose.  If you are trying to live out someone else’s purpose you are likely coming up short (and feeling so) because you don’t have the qualities/skills/talents to carry out someone else’s purpose.
  4. Make changes.  Underneath, most jealousy comes from unhappiness or dissatisfaction with ones’ self or life.  Find out where your unhappiness is coming from, look for steps you can take to change your situation, and implement those steps.  Sometimes, our circumstances cannot be changed, so we must rely on God to give us peace and satisfaction in our current state.

Until next time, stay safe and God bless,

Missy

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