Even here in Southern California, the tan world has turned green, thanks to the recent rainfall. My roses have burst into colorful song. Purple flowers blanket hillsides. Plants everywhere seem in a hurry to green up while they can.
But that’s not the kind of green I mean. The green inside of me is the poisonous algae of jealousy, the slippery stuff that is hard to scrub off, the slimy green you avoid touching. My green is envy.
I am vaguely jealous and passionately jealous and jealous for every reason and for no reason at all.
For years now, I’ve pinpointed jealousy as my besetting sin. While I unwrap the gift of my life each day, my eyes wander. I don’t want this thing in my hands–I want what she has! Discontent simmers while I look around and cradle bitterness in my hands.
I want what I don’t have.
When I want what I don’t have, I reject what I do have. How dare I?
I’m a hypocrite, too. My 9-year old complains about her beautiful blond ringlets. She wants straight hair. “But God gave you curly hair! It’s so pretty!” I tell her while secretly hating the hair God gave me. I also hate the body He gave me, from my sparse eyelashes to my stubby fingernails to my short-waisted torso. How will I convince my daughter to be grateful for what she has when I am so ungrateful for what I have? I treat my own body with contempt.
I’m feeling jealous of the trips other people take, of the cars they drive, of the accomplishments their kids achieve, of the places they live, the people they see, the things they do, the places they’ve been. I’m unhappy that other people fly to conferences and take vacations and have lunch with friends. I want, I want, I want.
It’s my besetting sin and I must set it aside. I want to savor what I have, to want what I hold in my hands, to recognize the priceless gift of here and now. That’s hard to do if I insist on keeping envy green and growing in my heart.