"For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing." James 3:16
Jealousy and Envy. How many of us are willing to admit these two things have any place in our head or heart. Perhaps, not many but instead of throwing you all under the bus, today I will share my personal struggle with these things. It is a mighty struggle, and very much related to many of my battles with forgiveness.
Every morning I have the same routine - wake up, say a quick prayer, make coffee, jump on the internet. Where I then search, read, and share Catholic content from Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, just to name a few. I sometimes spend hours looking at all the great things other people are saying, doing and photographing.
It seems all well and fine while I'm online. I am excited by all the amazing things God is doing with so many amazing people who are willing to answer YES to God's call to serve and share His Good News. Yet, quietly, almost unnoticeable something is happening that if left unchecked will be a great tool for the enemy. As I explore, read, and re-post comparisons develop. As I become aware of other people's opportunities or good fortune, a seed of sadness sometimes grows. As I look at the shiny coverings of the Catholic bloggers, media savvy posters and New Evangelizers, my own shell appears duller and duller. Insecurity creeps in as I look at the degrees people hold, ideas they had first, and books they've been blessed to have published - and discouragement overtakes me. It is subtle, it may even go undetected for a while - but it is there and I know it because my JOY wanes and anxiety abounds.
So there you have it - my weakest link - I am an incredibly jealous and envious person. It is a battle I have to consciously fight every day. The evil thing and disorder that St. James speaks about is how the enemy can use it to either paralyze me or blind me to what other's have to offer. It isn't all on Satan either - he may get the ball rolling, but I do just fine and dandy keeping the momentum going all on my own! Recognizing these temptations and flaws of my nature are an important first step in overcoming them.
These are the tools I utilize (daily) to wage war against them - so that I can remain focused on doing the "Will of the One who sent me," (John 6:38), and not frozen in my own insecurity.
Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps,administrations, various kinds of tongues. All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they?