Melody—who is doing a wonderful job teaching her children to trust God in the midst of suffering—sent us this funny story about one conversation that didn’t go quite as expected:
I was talking to my kids (age 8, 5 and 3) about how God is good even when things don’t go our way. (we’ve had a lot of health problems in our family)
I said, “Is God good even when Grandma is sick for a long time?”
“Yes!” was the resounding reply.
“Is God good even when Daddy had to have brain surgery?” Again I heard a chorus of “Yes!”
“Is God good even if you don’t get any more Build a Bears?”
This question was met with silence and surprise . . and finally a round of hesitant agreement.
Nothing like bringing it down to what’s important!
See you all Monday,
Nicole for the girltalkers
One humble woman told us how envy affected her relationships:
I have really been struggling with envying the pregnant women in my life. My husband & I are not trying to get pregnant right now, but I still struggle very much with wanting a child and not wanting others to have children. (That Cornelius quote was very convicting and true). I found myself mistreating many pregnant friends of mine at my church by not smiling in the hallway or engaging in usual conversations. I was so ugly in my actions but more ugly in my thoughts. I realized I was really wronging them by being so closed off. My jealously and envy not only hurt my relationship with God, my husband, my friends but with the whole church body. I realized my sin really affects all others around me- in my case my church family. Praise be to God that where my sin was abounding, His grace abounded even stronger. He showed me my sin through other saints and I was able to repent and receive forgiveness from women I was intentionally ignoring.
Because God gives grace to the humble, I’m sure this woman has much grace coming her way! May we all be encouraged to follow her example and identify and repent from envy. Envy can hinder friendship, but humility—by the grace of God—can restore and strengthen relationships in the body of Christ.
“For we ourselves were once…passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.” Tit. 3:3 I wonder if part of Jesus’ motive for rebuking Peter’s sinful comparison was to preserve Peter’s relationship with John. Envy is a relationship destroyer. It squelches love and stifles kindness. We cannot cherish our friends and envy them at the same time. “Love…does not envy” (1 Cor. 13:4). And as Jonathan Edwards put it, “Surely love to our neighbor does not dispose us to hate him for his prosperity or be unhappy at his good” So, for the sake of our relationships, the Savior asks: “If it is my will that she ___________ what is that to you?” Genuine love rejoices with those who rejoice (Rom 12: 15). It is happy when someone else gets honored, gets a promotion, gets married, gets pregnant, gets any good gift from the hand of God. So let us put away all envy and love one another.
Jesus had a job for Peter to do. He had good works prepared for him to walk in (Eph 2:10), which included a martyr’s death. The Lord knew that if Peter envied John he would be distracted from what God had called him to do.
Envy not only robs us of peace; it hinders our fruitfulness.
If we try to peer onto other people’s paths, comparing and envying others, we’ll be sidetracked from the good works God wants us to walk in. We’ll fail to bring glory to our Savior.
We can’t envy and obey at the same time.
For example, if God has called to walk in good works as a single, but we are envying our friends who are married, we’ll be distracted from the ways God has called us to glorify Him in our singleness.
Or, if God has assigned to us to be married to a man who is not exercising leadership in the home and we are sinfully comparing ourselves with friends whose husbands effectively lead them, then we will be diverted from our task of bringing glory to God in our marriage.
Or if God has called us to use our gifts and abilities in a specific arena and yet we refuse to do so because our gifts are not as great or glamorous as another’s, we will fail to do God’s will.
Envy always eats up time and energy that should be spent on the good works God has prepared for us. When we envy others, we miss out on God’s grace to bear fruit today.
This morning, our husbands boarded various planes headed for Louisville, KY and the Together for the Gospel conference. We miss them already!
Please pray for the conference—for safe travel for all 7000 registered, wisdom, grace, and clarity for the speakers, and that everyone who attends would be encouraged and strengthened in the gospel.
Tonight we’re hanging out and feeding the kids pizza and root beer floats. We’ll see you back here tomorrow!