Have you ever envied someone? I distinctly recall two times I've envied people. One was when my best friend in grade school had to wear glasses. I liked that wearing glasses made her stand out, so I pretended to have trouble seeing. The end result? I was prescribed glasses I didn't need, and now have terrible eyesight. The second time was when a friend received an employment opportunity I thought I deserved. The end result? I ended up getting the best job I've ever had. Lessons? The first experience taught me that trying to be like someone else can result in self-inflicted harm with lifetime consequences. The second experience taught me that a missed opportunity can be a blessing in disguise.

When we envy others, do we stop to consider whether we can drink the cup? Drinking the cup means living what they've lived through, or are living through, to have what they have. Are we willing to pay the cost? Rarely. We want their glory without living their story. Most of us have lived long enough to learn not to judge a book by its cover. But when we envy, isn't that what we do? We look at someone else's situation and because it looks appealing we assume it is. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Many folks whose lives look good are suffering, or have suffered, tremendous pain. And/or, they've made many sacrifices or compromises along the way. But because they don't show the sacrifice or pain associated with their lives, we covet what they appear to have. And then, what if we get it? Because we have to live with the consequences should we realize that what we envied appeared better than the reality of it.

In envying others, we're so busy looking at what someone else has that we can't fully see what we have. Let's turn envy into inspiration. Let others' success, victories, joys, and opportunities inspire us first to appreciate what we already have, and then to work hard to improve our lives based on our own hopes, dreams, goals, and aspirations. And then when it's time to drink from a cup, we won't need to try to sip from someone else's. We'll see that there's tremendous fulfillment in drinking from our own cup.
 


Comments

Tracey
11/13/2012 4:23am

Nat,
This is so well written.
Envy is crazy and mature people should know better. Instead of envying the lives of others, it's better to expend energy on creating our own life. That way, when we get it we are at peace with it because, most of us know inwardly that the effort and the result should coincide - God willing.
Be at peace.

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Natalie
11/13/2012 11:43pm

Great to hear from you, Tracey. Thanks for your comment. I agree that the path to peace requires living our own lives.

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Helen Fitzsimmons
11/13/2012 12:28pm

Nat,
Sincerely appreciate how you expressed 'others' looking through the wrong colored glasses!
It has been said to me numerous times, in reference to medical illness, in the following words: "You never have anything".
My reponse has always been 'I just don't talk about anything'...as God always has seen me through........and still does each day.

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Natalie
11/14/2012 12:04am

Hi, Ms. Helen. Nice to hear from you. It's unfortunate that assumptions are made when we don't put our pain on exhibit. Thankfully, we have the assurance that God is with us.

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Doreen
11/13/2012 2:10pm

Sometimes younger people will say to me, I hope to look like you and get around like you do,when I get to be your age. I smile and
then have this great conversation with God. If they only knew what
was going on beneath the smile and doing.As you grow in ,Christ,
you learn not to complain,but to be grateful for you and your unique
self.GOD IS GOOD

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Natalie
11/14/2012 12:10am

Sounds like a mentoring opportunity.:-)

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Craig Kirby
11/14/2012 1:17am

Well Said....Well Written....Well Understood. Envy, truly is like the Sun --without the heat. It may look beautiful, but its a whole lot of energy "up in there". We should learn to understand and appreciate both the beauty and intensity.....

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