Thank God for neighbors with chainsaws. I was awoken at 5am by this humongous tree crashing on this not so humongous tree in my neighbor’s yard. Fortunately, it looks a lot worse than it was. The one thing that surprised me about Hurricane Irene is how much damage she did in my small neighborhood compared to the surrounding ones. It was as if the storm just focused on us. When I got to church and heard people say, “It wasn’t too bad.” or “We still have power.” I got a little angry and a little jealous. I wondered, “Why do they still have power? What about me and my family?”
As student ministers there’s a temptation to get angry at others when they seem more fortunate than us. It’s a form of jealousy and we begin to compare ourselves to others. It doesn’t matter whether or not you are competitive or judgmental, we are all going to feel a little jealousy from time to time. If this is indeed true you might ask, “How do we avoid it’s damaging force?” You fight jealousy by:
- Building A Relationship: Before you form judgment get to know the other guys. Assumptions are formed when we don’t know the truth about another.
- Confessing: Find someone you can be brutally honest with and confess your envy. The more we hold it in, the more we allow it to chew us alive.
- Reflecting: Write down, journal your thoughts and then reread them. Ask yourself, “Why am I jealous?” Sometimes looking at what we are feeling will reveal the source.
- Praising Them: Combat the sin of envy by praising others. Look for the good, look for at least one thing that you can lift up, and then look for one more. Change in attitude can start with a change in behavior.
Envy unnoticed will control our behavior. It will move us to hold grudges and be self centered. Most important thing you can do is look to God. When we focus on our the Spirit, the Father and Son we are guided and moved through the darkest things in our heart. If you are at all worried about the other guy, never be afraid to reach out.
How do you combat the envy of other youth ministries?