This is hard, hard, hard to do.
It’s painful to hope for something that hasn’t come, while others experience it.
But, it’s more painful to cling to bitterness and jealousy.
Reading the Bible and praying fills our souls with a more genuine response to others’ celebrating things we had hoped for.
It doesn’t mean we won’t struggle. We will, but how do we respond when jealousy mounts? Filling our minds with a certain verse to combat jealousy and envy helps.
Luke 1 tells us that Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin, had no children because she was barren and well along in years. I wonder how she felt struggling to be pregnant.
Elizabeth finally did become pregnant and said, “The Lord has done this for me.”
I wonder about the woman who heard of Elizabeth’s news, but couldn’t have a baby. I wonder how she dealt with being on the outskirts watching Elizabeth but longing to be a mother. I wonder about the pain and bitterness that probably filled her soul.
Then I read this…
“When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they Shared Her Joy.” (Luke 1:57-58)
Isn’t that beautiful?
To share in the joy of others and celebrate them.
I assume some still struggled with the pain of not realizing their own hopes, but they still shared in her joy and celebrated with her.
What an encouragement for our kids as well. Let’s ask them, “How do you feel when someone gets something you hoped for? How would you feel if someone was mad and didn’t celebrate if you got an award or something you wanted? How can you be happy for your friends when they achieve something? How does that show them the love of Jesus?
It’s a mind and heart shift. A daily one.
As we seek Jesus, he will move our hearts from bitterness and envy to caring more about things above, his kingdom, loving others, loving him…. True Life.
“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” PV 14:30
“And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” Ecclesiastes 4:4
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6
“Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
My instinct is to fix it all. Can you relate?
When things aren’t right in my kids’ worlds, I often want to jump in and make it right.
But over time I’ve learned that rescuing usually hurts more than it helps.
As Sissy Goff, Christian author and counselor says, “Rescuing communicates that she needs rescuing…She’s going to have a few problems along the way, and you want her to learn to think for herself and trust in her own strength when those problems arise.”
That builds confidence.
It’s good for our kids to experience the reality of life, even though it’s tough sometimes.
We don’t always need to jump in and fix it.
Sometimes they don’t like their teacher.
Sometimes they don’t get the grade they hoped for.
Sometimes they don’t make the team they hoped to make.
Sometimes the whole class gets in trouble when only two acted wrongly.
Sometimes they have to sit next to a kid in school they don’t want to sit next to.
Sometimes friendships have conflicts.
Sometimes life goes great, and sometimes it doesn’t.
It’s a good thing for our kids to learn the reality that everything doesn’t always go their way.
If our kids can learn to navigate these feelings growing up, they will be more prepared for the real world.
If we don’t shelter our kids from problem-solving and realizing they really can do it, worry will lessen and their confidence will grow.
They will be more prepared for the unseen, the challenges, the uncomfortable, the times when life doesn’t go great.
It’s okay for our kids to sit in the place where things don’t line up perfectly. Let’s ask them questions about how it feels and what they can do about it.
We’ll be sparking in them a beautiful courage that will allow them to walk through life with more peace.
Or maybe there’s nothing they need to do and nothing needs to be “fixed” – they just need to vent and maybe be reminded that it will be okay and seasons don’t last forever.
At the core of all this, among their frustrations, problems, and celebrations, let’s share with our children that God is always there and that regardless of what happens in this world,
we can ALWAYS have hope in Jesus.
He is the constant in our lives.
The One who never changes.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33