You might know her. She’s the girl who seems to have it all together. The perfect Christian. The perfect marriage. The perfect mom. The perfect children. The perfect home. She just seems so perfect.
Yes, I know that girl. She’s actually one of my dear friends. She’s truly beautiful on the inside and out. I greatly respect her. She’s gifted in so many ways, and I learn so much from her whenever I am around her.
But I have to admit that at times I’ve caught myself thinking, I wish I was more like her. I wish I could speak eloquently like her. I wish I could pray beautiful prayers the way she does. I wish I was more creative like her. I wish my home was as neat and orderly as hers.
And slowly over time, a root of jealousy began to grow in my heart and began to choke the life out of me. I wasn’t appreciating the gifts God gave me because I was too caught up in what I didn’t have.
I was too focused on what she has!
It’s crazy how quickly we allow Satan to come in and steal our joy. How quickly we allow him to cripple our lives and ministries. How quickly we forget who our REAL enemy is–Satan. We start fighting each other instead of honing in on him!
So for a while I was side-lined. Out of the game. Benched.
And I was miserable.
I was telling Skip about my struggle one day and he gave me this wonderful analogy. He said, “Rachel, it’s like this. You two aren’t even playing the same sport. She’s playing basketball. You get all upset when she scores a basket, but you aren’t even playing basketball. You’re playing soccer.”
Skip’s right. God has gifted me with certain gifts, and He has gifted my friend with certain gifts. I have my own family to love and serve, and so does she.
We have our own races to run. I am not supposed to run her race, and she isn’t supposed to run mine. I am not going to stand before the Lord one day and hear Him say, “Rachel, why didn’t you run ‘So-and-So’s’ race? Why weren’t you more like her?”
He’s probably going to ask, “Rachel, why didn’t you run the race I gave YOU to run? Why were you trying to run every one else’s? Because you were so focused on running THEIR races, you missed out on beautiful race I specifically had planned for you.”
I don’t want to miss out on the race He has for me.
The Lord spoke to my heart the other day about my struggle and said, “Rachel, when you see something beautiful in others, that’s ME in them. When you see their spiritual gifts and talents, and see them using them for My glory, that’s ME in them. You say you love Me, well love ME in them!”
Oh my! Wow! I’d never thought about it like that. That really got my attention. My hardened self-centered prideful heart began to melt.
I am realizing more and more that I cannot love Him fully without loving His precious people.
I cannot love Him without loving HIM in her.
So this is what I have been doing to overcome this. And it’s working. This is setting my heart free.
First, I confessed my awful pride and jealousy to the Lord. Next, I went to my friend and told her about my struggle and how sorry I was that I allowed jealousy to come between us.
Now when I have a jealous thought creep into my mind, I try to immediately capture that bad boy, put him in a full nelson, and make him yell, “Uncle!” Then I pray. I thank the Lord for my precious friend, her beautiful gifts, for bringing her into my life, for all He is teaching me through her. Whenever I have the opportunity, I try to encourage her. I tell her how thankful I am for her and her friendship. I remind her of her beautiful gifts and how greatly the Lord is using them for His glory.
And what’s so amazing is that God is changing my heart. Once again, I see the power of God’s Word when we obey it. The truth is setting my heart free. I love my precious friend in a fresh and deeper way than I did before.
I am seeing her as He sees her.
I’m loving Him in her.
It feels so incredible to see beauty in others and truly be able to love and celebrate it!
Here’s the bottom line. God brings people into our lives for a purpose. He knits our hearts with others so He can accomplish more through us together. We can learn from each other, lean on each other, empower and encourage each other.
Just like in an army, soldiers are more powerful and fight stronger together. The body of Christ is supposed to operate the same way. It is meant to be a unit, all parts doing their specific jobs, working together, under Christ’s leadership.
I truly believe that if we stopped fighting each other, and instead became allies, joined forces and united, we would be a force to be reckoned with against the kingdom of darkness. We would be the church Christ intended for us to be…
“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” Matthew 16:18
So I encourage you today if you know “that girl,” don’t be jealous of her.
Instead, celebrate her! Encourage her! Thank God for her!
Love HIM in her!
And then watch love grow in your heart like never before.
The more we seek to bring out the beauty in others, the more beautiful we become!