Comparison and Jealousy

I don’t like these words! They sound so immature.

Comparison has almost become one of those acceptable sins (thank you Jerry Bridges for this phrase) among Christian women.

Jealousy is a bit harder to own. But isn’t jealousy a twin to comparison? And both grow in the womb of desire. Being a young mom in campus ministry there are numerous opportunities to compare on many levels. When we dig through the comparison and the jealousy issues, we bring to light their root, to find the buried desires.  But excavation is hard work.

Excavating my own jealousy clarified my desire. I want to be involved in fruitful ministry. I want to know that God has a place, a purpose for me. After all, I’m a Navigator staff.  But as I looked around (the wrong place to be looking), at my husband and some of my peers, I found myself wanting.

This came to the boiling point and bubbled over in 1997. I remember the place; I remember the time; I remember the reason.

I was mad and decided to quit (I was always going to live with jealousy, so why not just give up). I pulled on a heavy mask in my effort to hide my frustration; my modus operandi became to grin and bear it – pretend all is okay.

This misery lasting about two years began to skid and falter as God in His grace turned my attention to how much he loved me. He spoke his love to me in ways I understood. I heard, “In love he predestined me for adoption according to the purpose of His will.” Ephesians 1:5. Syncing love and purpose was important and scriptures of his love and purpose became my primary quiet time … they still are.

As I pondered these wonderful truths—and started believing them, God revealed four problem areas:

  • My identity was skewed. The gospel frees me from my opinion of myself. That must be reality for me.
  • My understanding of the gospel was very limited.
  • I had a narrow perception of ministry.
  • I was insecure in my own contribution.

Bill gave me a leather journal one Christmas. It records unchanging truths—especially truths about God’s love and purpose for me. This is where my scripture prayer lists for me and my family reside, well-loved quotes, my God-given desires, and major ah-ha’s. I pray over and meditate on these scriptures almost daily. And I ask myself this question: What would it look like for me to trust this truth today?

A new Sue is emerging.

God continues to clarify my desires.
I’m experiencing new joy, new freedom, and new paths to live my desires.
There is a new ability to love.
The gospel is for today!
Times of comparison and jealousy are fading.                                                                                         I’m growing in vulnerability.
I’m learning to receive love.

Old lies still surface, but now I recognize they are a symptom of a deeper reality. And I’m applying a salve of truth that not only replaces the symptom, but goes below the surface and cures the cause!

My friend Joyce shared these easy to remember words,

Comparison leads to Competition
Contrast leads to Completion

These sacred words are my anchor and I pray they will encourage you too,

“May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:5-6

Bill and Sue have been hanging around the Navs since college days. Perhaps that is why we love ministry to that generation so much! We have been married for 42 years and on staff for 42 years. I love penning my weekly blog, Echoes of Grace, and facilitating Sabbath-Living retreats, both designed to help women grow in their friendship with God. We have 2 married sons and 5 GRANDS and 1 faithful Golden Retriever, Lexie. Bill serves in the newly formed Staff Development and Care function and Sue officially lives her role through Encore. One of our highlights is the online Bible studies we do each semester with collegiate reps.

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