Give and Take
“Jealousy is when you count someone else’s blessings instead of counting your own.”
If you’ve ever had to watch someone else live out your dream, you know how painful it is praise their progression, and how hard it is not to let their blessing make you bitter. And don’t let it be somebody who “didn’t even deserve it,” or at least not as much as you. And despite how hard you worked and how long you worked and how fervently you worked—you’re at the highly anticipated series premiere of the show that you auditioned for, with someone else cast in the lead role.
I get it. It’s hard to be happy for the person who appears to have everything you’ve ever wanted. It’s hard to rejoice for their answered prayers when you can’t even seem to get Jesus on the mainline. It’s hard to support their achievements and accomplishments when your vision just won’t come into fruition. It’s HARD. It is really, really hard.
If you’ve ever had to watch someone else live out your dream, you know the first question that comes to mind is, “Why them and not me?” And if you think logically, you worry yourself into frenzy in a hasty attempt to answer that question. And if you think like me, you revert right back to the only One who gives and takes away, and before you raise your eyebrow at anyone else, you raise your eyebrow at God.
After all of my commitment and sacrifice…
After all of my praise and worship…
After all of my faith and believing…
Lord, how could you not come through for ME, in the hour that I needed your divine authority the most?
How is it that you could look out for him and her, but you didn’t even look out for me?
I once read a quote that said, “There’s not a person you wouldn’t love if you could read their story.” And another quote that said, “Don’t judge a person’s story by the chapter you walked in on.” Often times we analyze people that we envy for having things we wish we were afforded, and by a beat face and bomb selfie alone we think they have it all together and wonder why it can’t be us. We get a glimpse at the success in their personal and professional lives and assume we got double the share of rainy days just because we witness someone else’s sunshine. And all of a sudden, here comes the, “Woe is me, I never get anything I want, why can’t it be my turn” pity party. Yet the fact remains, we don’t know what actually is, we only know what people allow us to see.
Stop being bitter toward people over blessings that God ordained for them to have. You don’t know what they did to get it or what it will cost them just to have it. All that glitters is not golden and sometimes we think we’re missing out on the thing that God is trying to save us from (everything that's good is not good for you, or good for the moment). Furthermore, tread lightly when you speak on who does or does not deserve what God’s grace has enabled them to obtain. Keep in mind that that’s the same grace enabling all that you have ever obtained.
Everything serves a purpose. We seldom understand what that purpose is in the moment but it always eventually reveals itself. God gives with purpose and He takes with purpose. Sometimes, He’s giving and taking at the same time in different areas of your life. But you can’t even see God moving on your behalf because you’re too busy criticizing His judgment as He moves for somebody else.
PSA: Nobody truly has it all, so stop claiming to be the odd ball that can’t seem to catch a break. You are not hexed. That person that you claim has everything does not have two hands inside of the pot. We can make our plans and prayer requests all day long, but the Lord orders our steps. If what you want at this moment is bound to lead you in the opposite direction, God will check it at the door without hesitation. And I know that you don’t understand, but you also aren’t supposed to; if we were all-knowing we wouldn’t need God.
The moral of the story is: we have all experienced loss. Nobody is exempt; not the envier or the envied. We’ve all experienced pain, disappointment, failure and an unexpected shift in the plan—just on different platforms in different places. But don’t write off the people around you because you think you are the only one who knows what it is to suffer...what it is to be let down...what it is to fail. Life is a cycle of give and take and everyone is inevitably subjected to that. But this I know for sure: The Lord will make perfect that which concerns you. So whatever you do get and whatever you don’t get; whatever hurts you and whatever helps you; whatever makes you smile and whatever makes you cry—it all plays a divine role in shaping a pre-destined purpose in God’s perfect will.
Look up and,