Thursday, December 17, 2009

Caging a Green-eyed Monster


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Like many people, I go through life with an assortment of mythical animals and monsters perched on and looking over my shoulders. The one that produced the widest variety of raging emotions was the green-eyed monster. It appeared and dugs its claws into my heart when I had the least or lost what I hadn't wanted to give up. You know the one I'm talking about - jealousy. It produced anger, rage, sadness, depression, and a host of other negative emotions and feelings that ripped me up inside and I didn't know how to put back in its cage. I fueled the beast's nastiness within me by looking outside myself at what others had and I didn't. Oh, it just loved to make mincemeat of me, shredding my emotions to the point where I didn't care about life or what I did have. And the strange part is that I wasn't angry at the monster, I was angry at God. I whined and moaned, "Why don't I have this (thing or person) in my life? Why do you have to put me through such a difficult time when that evil person is coasting through life?" I was almost turning myself inside out with jealousy.

I don't know when I began to fuel this emotion less, by looking at what others had and being genuinely happy for them. I also looked at what I had and was truly grateful for God showing His blessings and love on me. Like so many negative emotions, jealousy does nothing to build me up, but happiness for another person's blessings, blesses me and the other person.

Well, sounds a bit strange, doesn't it? How can I be happy for someone who has something I want but don't have. That's the way caging the green-eyed monster works. It's how God wants us to feel toward others. I believe that when the Jews were wandering through the desert for over 40 years, they looked at what they didn't have. They were jealous of those who had homes, water, crops... Did God immediately give them these things? No, but he got very angry at them. God looks at my attitude toward others, whether I'm blessed by others' blessings.

So, while the green-eyed monster shows his face occasionally, I don't buy into his game. Or another way of saying it is that I don't co-sign his baloney. One of my friends calls her ex-boyfriend a "lying sack of baloney," but isn't that what the evil one is, disguised as an emotion?

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