Most people use envy and jealous interchangeably. Though similiar, their differences are key in freeing yourself from them. According to Dictionary.com
Envy and jealousy are very close in meaning. Envy denotes a longing to possess something awarded to or achieved by another: to feel envy when a friend inherits a fortune. Jealousy on the other hand, denotes a feeling of resentment that another has gained something that one more rightfully deserves: to feel jealousy when a coworker receives a promotion. Jealousy also refers to anguish caused by fear of unfaithfulness.
I have struggled with envy all my life. I used to think it was jealousy but it wasn't. Part of my testimony was that I always wanted to be anyone, except me. I saw no value in my self, only in others. I have a gift for spotting the good in people, but I have the flaw of longing to possess that or have what they have. I have never wanted to take it from them. I just wanted it too. I never wished the pretty girl in school wasn't pretty, I just wished I was pretty too.
Recently envy has reared its ugly head...again. I hate feeling envious because it robs my of my joy. It forces me to look at what I don't have. Looking at all those faults, those broken places, that unrefined surface can really make you feel like you are nothing.
In chapter 2 of Your Beautiful Puporse by Susie Larson, she challenges readers to "Love Your Story". This means to love, appreciate, and see all the good that your unique story has to offer. She warns against the "sin of comparison".
We gain nothing by committing the sin of comparison. In fact it only bears two kind of fruit--pride or despair--neither of which come from the Vine. pg 41
I have never thought comparison was a sin. I am still chewing on that. But think about it. When we compare ourselves with others there is only two results. We either feel better that someone else has it worse off then we do (pride) or we feel like the scum of the earth because we don't measure up (despair).
I have to admit, the trouble with having faith-filled, high achieving friends...is that they are faith filled and high achieving! I know people who are doing some great things in this world. And I am so glad they are doing what they are doing. I admit I am tempted to feel like I am not measuring up. 2Corithians 10:12b points out the facllacy in this thinking.
However, when they measure themselves with themselves and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding and behave unwisely.
It is unwise and shows a lack of understanding to compare ourselves with people. Yet here I am...acting unwisely and without understanding as I compare the size of my thighs to that 18 yr old's in the gym. Or as I compare my 3 yr old to the 2 yr old who is already potty trained. Or as I compare myself to the mom who homeschools her genius children. Oh how I hate envy!
I admit this is a hard one for me. I know I am battling this again so God can continually purge this from me. If you ever find youreself envious or jealous let's pray together. I know I am not a victim. Nor am I defeated. I have victory over this through Christ.
Father, create in us a clean heart and renew a right spirit to me. Restore to me the joy of my salvation. We denounce the spirits envy and jealousy and dethrone them from any place they have reigned in our lives. Teach us to take every thought that exalts itself above the knowledge of you captive. Fill our hearts with gratitude and joy in Jesus' name. Amen