I’ve never been the jealous type.
If you buy a new house, I won’t covet your hardwood floors. I’m thrilled for you if you own a stunning wardrobe.
It might be hard to believe, but I’m happy to see your vacation photos. Sure I wish you would have taken me, (I AM human) but I love to see God bless people.
Maybe I thought I was impervious to jealousy. I was wrong.
Five months ago when I started this blog, I went on a blog subscription frenzy. I thought I would learn from the best in Christian publishing.
The jealousy started almost as fast as my inbox flooded with polished prose.
I soaked up every word. These writers had turned blogging into an art form.
But instead of rejoicing with my fellow wordsmiths, my heart took an ugly turn. I could only see how my words lacked the poetic ring of Ann Voskamp’s writing.
And why can’t I seem to narrow my focus into one resounding theme like the way Crystal Stine hangs her entire blog around the word community?
By opening up the door of comparison, I allowed envy to walk in and strangle my joy. All of a sudden my blog posts weren’t witty enough, punchy or deep enough. I could only see my lack.
I coveted their books, too. As I elevated these writers, I forgot they were normal people, like you or me.
Maybe that’s the dangerous side of jealousy. It doesn’t only steal happiness, but it blinds us to our own blessings and causes us to see a distorted world—a world where our gifts never seem like enough.
Jealousy and competition mar our view of Christ’s body. Falling prey to envy prohibits us from fully functioning where God has placed us.
Whether you’re a writer or not, God’s gifted you with your experiences, personality and vantage point to create the depth and timbre of your voice.
Whether you write, speak or sit on a pew, your voice matters.
I remember the day God asked me to pray a blessing over one of these bloggers, to pray an increase over their lives and ministry. He asked me to pray what I ached for.
When I balked, I saw the green-eyed monster. But the second I obeyed, God began to change my heart.
I began to see how each author’s message was so often born from a mess. I saw how God likes to use the wounded to write healing words and how books sometimes come only after years of cross carrying.
I see a community of writers to whom God has given talent, each with a different voice, each with a different message. What a lovely thing to behold.
And I’m excited to take a seat among them. Today as I write this my heart sings Mary’s ancient words.
“‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled’” (Luke 1:38 NIV).
In the end this writing life is about serving. “Platform” building is only another opportunity to bow down and wash some feet.