You know that feeling, don’t you? That heart sting when someone else receives the very thing you desire. When your best friend announces her engagement. When your sister says she’s pregnant. When your coworker gets the promotion. You tell yourself you’re happy for her, but something casts a shadow. That something is envy.
What if, in those moments, you were able to turn away from the green glow of envy, and see the spotlight of God’s glory shine on your friend? What if your first response was joy? Author, Tilly Dillehay wrote Seeing Greento help others. In the book, she uncovers seven common sources of envy and challenges the reader to change the way they think about God’s glory. Her hope is that in doing so, the reader will learn to rejoice with others, experience greater contentment, and discover how to truly love your neighbor as yourself.
Joe Rigney author of Lewis on the Christian Lifereflects on Seeing Green.
“Envy—almost all of us struggle with it, and almost none of us will admit to it. In this eminently practical book, Tilly Dillehay shows us envy in its many disguises so that we can learn to recognize its itching and writhing presence in our own lives. More than that, she celebrates the goodness of borrowed glory in God’s world, forcing us either to rot in our resentment or to learn to rejoice in the glorious inequalities that God so loves. This book is worth much reflection and meditation. I highly recommend it.”
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. James 3:13-16
Ivan Mesa, editor of The Gospel Coalition shares his reflection of Seeing Green.
“Envy is a subtle and vicious sin, which usually aims at those closest to us—family, friends, neighbors, fellow workers, and church members. It is embarrassing to divulge, and thus it gnaws at our souls, filling us with rage at others’ success or with satisfaction at their misfortune. Arguably, envy is the original sin that burned within Satan and has beset mankind throughout history. We see it in Scripture—from Cain to Saul to Joseph’s brothers and to the Jews of Jesus’s day who nailed him to a cross. In short, envy makes us unwitting accomplices of the Devil and it can destroy our souls. In her debut book, Tilly Dillehay helps us understand this sin in its various manifestations. With candid admission of her own struggle, penetrating insight into the human heart, and full confidence in God’s mercy, Dillehay offers hope to those ensnared by this ‘green-eyed monster.’ She helps us see ‘borrowed glories’ for what they are and fixes our gaze on the glories that await those ‘hidden with Christ in God’ (Colossians 3:3). Read this book and serve your soul!”
Express gratitude. We can help envy from creeping in by expressing gratitude. Take time this week to pray and thank God for what you have. Thank him for your family, friends, home, and job. You may be in a difficult situation where it is hard to be thankful but pray and ask God to reveal to you things you can be thankful for. It can help to write them down. You might even want to write a thank you note or letter as your prayer. You could even write a “Top Ten Things You are Thankful For,” list and post it in a place that you will see daily like a mirror, nightstand, in your locker or on your desk. Then when you are feeling that twinge of envy, glance at the list and remember all of the things God has done in your life.
Seek wisdom. If you are in a situation where you find yourself being envious of another person, talk to a trusted friend, small group leader or pastor. Ask them for their wisdom on the situation. It can sometimes help to get an outside perspective on a situation. A mature friend or pastor can often give us spiritual insight into a situation and remind us of God’s truth.
Fix your eyes on Christ. Envy often grows out of comparison and looking at what others have. Instead, fix your eyes on Christ and what He has called you to. Take time this week to pray and ask God to show you or reaffirm what He has called you to. Confess the things that you are envious about. He has entrusted each person with a unique set of skills and talents that He wants us to use to glorify Him. When we envy other people it takes distracts us from this calling. Sometimes it can help to take a day or weekend away to pray and reflect on what God is doing and has done in your life. Take a Bible and your journal and have a mini-retreat.
To win a copy of Seeing Green click here: https://www.blessedfreebies.com/seeing-green.html
We were given a copy of Seeing Green by Frontgate Media all of our thoughts and opinions are our own.