This year I have discovered a new weakness in myself. It is the sin of envy. I hadn’t dealt with it much before, because I am comfortably well-off and have enough for my needs and lots of my wants. But this year I lost something that I wish I still had (my health) and it has made me have some very uncharitable feelings towards others.
Which others? People who look like they don’t take care of themselves (sure, add “judging by appearances” to my list of sins), people who are out jogging looking healthy and happy. People who seem to take it for granted that they feel great. People whose biggest problems are emotional and not physical (I’m starting to sound nasty now). I am consumed by envy.
I’ve started to believe that my envy of healthy people is my greater problem (greater than being sick, I mean). I have got to get to a point where I can get over this. Because who knows how long I’ll be sick? This could be the rest of my life. And I don’t want to spend it feeling so ornery towards other people. And towards God for letting them have something I don’t have.
I’ve tried to analyze the root of envy. Do I really think that God is being unfair? No, of course not. Because there are lots and lots of people sicker than I or more miserable than I am in other ways. Of course it’s not unfair for me to have a little trial all my own. Believe it or not, there have even been times in the past when I have been envious of other people who had bigger trials than I did! “When are you going to send mine?” I’d wonder. “Don’t I get a chance to grow, too?” I really did feel that way sometimes.
So if it’s not that I think it’s unfair—what then? Do I think God loves them more than He loves me? (Particularly the people who USED to be sick but who got miraculously healed.) No, of course not. If there’s one thing I have a testimony of, it’s that the worth of a soul is great. I am as precious to God as you are, or as the lady down the street is. I know He cares about me.
I’ve come to the conclusion that my envy comes from a lack of faith in God’s wisdom that all these things shall work together for my good. Because if I truly, truly believed that, I really think I could let go of this tension about what I don’t have.
So what do I need to do to get that testimony? I know that God COULD remove this burden if it were right to do so. I have not lacked faith in that at all. So, since He is all-powerful, and I have faith that He CAN do it, the fact that He has not must mean that there is a purpose in it. How can I improve my faith in this, and rejoice that I am being cared for and carried to where I need to be?