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9 Jun

Green-Eyed Monsters: Envy, Jealousy and Competition

   You are a distinctive fingerprint in the limitless realm of creation. There is no one like you and there never will be. There was not meant to be. When God created you, he did it so you could fulfill a unique purpose that no one else can fill and he handcrafted you to fit that purpose. He needs you to be that one-of-a-kind person because you’re irreplaceable.

   So why are you trying to be someone else?

Who Am I?  

   We all have a destiny for which God created us, and in preparation for that destiny, he made us with a whole list of specifics in mind. Our appearance on this planet at this specific time in history is not an accident, nor is the year we were born. That means that, as of this year, we are exactly the age he needs us to be in order to accomplish the purpose for which we were intended. Let me translate that: You’re not too old. It’s like Moses wasn’t too old, nor Abraham or Sarah or Noah—nor was Abe Lincoln or Albert Einstein or Mother Teresa—or thousands of others I could name if I knew their names.

   Nor was anything else about you an accident. You’re exactly the gender he needs you to be, the race you were meant to be, and you look exactly as you were meant to look: height, build, hair color, skin color, eye color, features—all of it. Moreover, you have the talents and abilities you were meant to have, whether you’re creatively “right-brained,” analytically “left-brained,” or a “whole-brained” mix of the two. If you’re musical, you were meant to be—and here’s a fact: If you’re not musically gifted, it’s because the Lord has something else for you to do. And it’s the same with anything else: If you have the talent to do it, it’s because you’re supposed to use that gift, and if you’re not gifted in that area, it’s very likely because you’re not supposed to be doing that thing. (“Not gifted” and latent, undeveloped talent are two different things; if you have the gift, you are supposed to develop the gift.)

   So why are we trying to be someone else? Why are we beating ourselves up because we don’t look like that person, can’t play piano like the other person, or give a speech like the guy in Congress?


ENVY is wanting what someone else has; JEALOUSY is wanting to be what someone else is; and COMPETITION is the vicious pursuit of either one.


But What If I Can…?  

   But what if we are supposed to be doing the same thing as someone else? We might be. But I guarantee, if we are, we won’t be a carbon copy of that person because we’re meant to complete that assignment or fulfill that purpose in our own unique way. In other words, no two writers or contractors or fathers or business owners or counselors or pastors (fill in the blank) will ever do “it” the same way—whatever “it” is.

   Here’s a simple illustration but imagine, if you will, a doctor who’s supposed to be an orthopedic doctor (bone doc) deciding that he’s jealous of the heart surgeon down the street so he’s going to operate on hearts. Sure, he might go to school and become a surgeon, but will he be as good as the cardiac surgeon who’s doing it because he’s uniquely gifted to do that kind of surgery and because his heart is in it? And will the bone doc fulfill his purpose while he’s trying to compete with the other heart doctor?

   Who will touch the lives the bone doc was supposed to touch?


Destiny Road  

   Maybe you’re not the same kind of parent your mom or dad was. I’m not. My mother could have been nominated for sainthood and I know no one who would disagree with that. But I’m not her. Mom and I are about as different as mothers can get—which isn’t to say I’m a bad mother—but there’s probably a reason we have different operating systems: Mom raised two girls and I raised two boys. We probably needed to be different kinds of moms. Teachers are the same way. I know of no high school teacher who would want to be left alone in a room for five minutes with first graders. We just don’t get them. (My mom would have.) Conversely, first grade teachers probably equate walking a high school hallway about the same way they’d rate a stroll through inner city Chicago at 3am.

   Jealousy, envy and competition get us nowhere but lost on the road to our destinies as we wander here and detour there trying to be a person or fulfill a role we were never created for. Our personalities, abilities, past experiences, upbringing, physical characteristics, and dreams and passions all point to a specific pathway for each of us to take in fulfilling our purposes in life. We do have a choice. But if we choose not to take the route God has created us for or if we choose to try to imitate someone else, then something tragic will happen:

   The world will be a poorer place for it.




Cynthia Noble
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