Monday, Sep 17, 2012

Monday Makeover (Attitude): Conquering Envy

A topic not often spoken about among Christian writers is envy of other more successful writers. Yet, if we are honest with one another, not one of us has escaped this temptation.

Scripture gives us an encouraging reminder: “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (First Corinthians 10:13 NLT).

What exactly is envy? Webster defines envy as follows: “a painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage.” I will add that this resentful awareness is always preceded by a thought that is a lie. It is our responsibility to recognize the lie and to renounce it.

What are some of the lies the spirit of envy will speak to us: Here are a few of the most common:

• You are just as much deserving of publication as she is.

Really? Have you worked as hard, endured as much, and been as committed to your writing? Maybe you have. If so, why are you worried about God’s plan for another believer’s life? Just stay focused on His plan for yours. God will not forget you because He said He does not play favorites (Acts 10:34). 

• Your writing is so much better than hers.

Really? Well, maybe it is. But you don’t know if God needs her book published now for a larger purpose in His plan. Your time will come, if you remain faithful and grateful. 

 Success just falls into her lap.

Really? Do you know what price she paid to get to where she is? Do you know the suffering she has endured, suffering of which you may be totally unaware? Unless and until we walk in the shoes of another, we will never understand. Perhaps if you knew the truth about the writer you envy, you would be ashamed for envying her in the first place, and you would realize how blessed you yourself are.

Remember that envy will attack you when you least expect it. So be on your guard against this evil spirit. Rejoice when a fellow Christian writer is successful. Because we are all part of the Body of Christ, her success is your success. 

Finally, the best antidote to envy is to realize that this writing life is not at all about us. It’s all about Jesus.  So, bless the writer you envy, and pray that her influence for Christ, like yours, will increase so that He alone will be glorified.

Have you struggled with envy of another writer? If so, what did you do to resist the temptation?


Photo Source: Microsoft Clipart

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