Recently there has been a question rolling around in my head.
Why is it that we consider someone else’s success to be our failure? I’ve actually asked this question of some girlfriends and gotten tough responses. Basically, it’s yeah, I don’ t know why we do that! Girls are mean! 🙂
Our pastor stated this week: “Envy is resenting God’s goodness in other people’s lives while ignoring His goodness in mine.” Going back to my post on Gratitude vs. Pride I have to add in Envy to this discipline study. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says:
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.
Paul clearly tells us that love is neither prideful or envious. I know that this chapter is most often used when discussing love in a marriage setting. LifeWay’s Online Bible Library gives a move rounded explanation of the love Paul is writing about:
LOVE Unselfish, loyal, and benevolent concern for the well-being of another. In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul described “love” as a “more excellent way” than tongues or even preaching. The New Testament maintains this estimation of love throughout. The King James Version uses the word charity instead of “love” to translate the Greek word Paul used (agape). The word charity comes from the Latin Caritas which means “dearness,” “affection,” or “high regard.” Today, the word charity is typically used for acts of benevolence, and so the word love is to be preferred as a translation of agape. Nevertheless, the reader who comes to the agape of the New Testament with the idea of benevolence in mind is better off than the reader who comes with the notion of physical pleasure and satisfaction.
The type of Love being written about here is love one person should extend to another. So, why is it that we refuse to celebrate other’s successes? There are several answers to this question. 1) Envy 2) Personal disappointment 3) self-doubt 4) jealousy To me, the key one is #3, self-doubt. There is no reason to see someone else’s success as a personal failure. To get some perspective, 99.9% of the time someone else’s success has NOTHING to do with us! Any yet we personalize it.
So, here’s my challenge, the next time a girlfriend (or anyone) tells you about something good in their life, focus on them, congratulate them, and move on. We all deserve to be loved, and we all deserve to have our successes in life celebrated! 🙂