A discussion I recently had with a group of teens triggered this topic.

In my first year in the university, I got baptised in the Holy Spirit – and I fell in love with God. Obsessively. I didn’t want anything to come between us.

I loved music and used to be in the choir, and when it was time for special numbers, we would sometimes go out to sing – me included.
There was a certain girl in my group who would just watch. Reserved.

One day, she raised up her hand for a special number. When she walked out and opened her mouth, you could have heard a pin drop.

Her voice was golden: Pure, liquid gold.

The hall erupted when she was done.

I clapped too – but there was something warring inside me. Something very different form the purity, light, and love I had been feeling after my baptism.

This was black. Dark. Tumultuous.

I hated it.

I hated the fact that it was tampering with the liberty I had with God.

I remember going back to the hostel and kneeling by my bed. That was the only way I could deal with the emotions inside me – in the presence of God.
I began to pray in the Spirit, because, funny enough, I couldn’t put a name to what I was feeling.

As I began to pray, I heard the word, “Envy.”

It seems strange now, but I honestly, honestly did not realise I was envious.

I stayed on my knees, telling God to remove that feeling from me. I prayed until every trace of that darkness disappeared. God went to the roots and removed it.

When I got up, I was as free and light as the wind.
I NEVER envied her again. Instead, I started ‘hyping’ her. Everywhere I went to, I mentioned her. “XYZ can siiiing!” “I know someone who can saaang!”
When I spoke with her, I told her how good she was and how she could sing certain songs/notes/parts better – and I didn’t do it hypocritically. I meant Every. Single. Word.

So, how do you handle envy?

(1)Recognise – AND ADMIT – You Are Envious.
You see, when God allows you go through certain situations, and things are revealed in you that you didn’t know were there before, REJOICE! Why?
He is bringing it to the surface so He can skim it off your life.
When you admit your envy, it makes it very easy for God to remove it from your life.

Unfortunately, most people remain bound up in black and bitter envy because they choose not to accept the truth – and it’s the Truth that sets free. (Read my guest post on Honesty here.)

(2)Get Into God’s Presence.
I sincerely believe that it’s ONLY in the presence of God that you get a DEEP and LASTING work in your emotions. Other self-help methods, while good, are usually temporary or shallow. They cause you to suppress or divert your feeling.

However, God uproots the very tree, takes away the feelings associated with it, deals with your thought patterns – and truly transforms you.
He doesn’t work on the envy. He removes it. Big difference.

(3)Know Your Strengths And Weaknesses.
When you realise that “Yes, XYZ preaches up a storm, but my administrative skills are second to none!”, it makes it difficult to envy.
Yes, you both are singers in the choir, but while she leads people into deep worship, you tear up the hall with your praise. Don’t kneel down and try to manufacture deep worship.

Instead, accept your strengths – and COLLABORATE. That’s why it’s a body. It’s Kingdom. No one is meant to have everything.

(3)Find Your Purpose.
I’ve realised that when you are passive with your gifts and talents, you feel envious when you see others using theirs.
When you use and maximize your gifts and talents and stay in purpose, you realise there is so much to do, to learn, to become – that you barely have time to be envious.

In fact, you try to surround yourself with others stronger because you understand they can help you achieve your own purpose faster.

(4)Be Humble.
What has pride got to do with envy? A lot – because we all want the spotlight to be on us. “I” want to be loved. “I” want to be applauded. “I” would rather be celebrated and praised and loved – rather than “them”.

Humility effectively combats envy because you choose to deliberately stay in the background – and allow another shine. It doesn’t always have to be about “ME”.

(5)Understand Times And Seasons.
Envy is very shortsighted. It works with what you see and feel now.

If Judah had seen that the Messiah would come through his lineage, he would not have envied his brother, Joseph.

When you see through the eyes of God, and realise that it’s another person’s time to be celebrated – and your own turn will come – you will find it ridiculous to envy.

(5)Pray For a Heart Of Genuine Love.
“Love does not envy…” is very true. I’ve realised that you cannot genuinely love a person – and genuinely envy them.
Rather, you want only the very best for them. You are truly excited when they win, and truly unhappy when they don’t.

(6)Combat The Spiritual By Giving.
Let me explain.
Envy is a negative, demonic, spiritual energy. It makes you hold back your resources, words, help, prayers, well-wishes from the person you are envious of.

However, you can break it by:
-Deliberately praying that their projects succeed.
-Reaching out to genuinely congratulate them.
-Giving financially towards their project/wedding/building/child-naming etc.
-Advertising their businesses/organizations to others.
-Referring people to their resources (books, music, messages, etc) if in ministry.

Let the devil know that envy has no place in your heart.

Lastly,
Some years ago, a friend got a brand-new, monstrous SUV. I and my other friends had cars that were not-so-new – and we were all taken aback when she drove in with it. I admit there was that initial burst of envy, particularly since it was unexpected.

Then one of us got up, slowly walked around the car, looked at it with an air of disgust and disdain – then fell backwards on the bonnet, raised up her hands to heaven and wailed, “God, wheeeennnnn?!”

We almost had apoplexies from laughing. That initial, mildly envious feeling diffused, and everyone genuinely congratulated her.

Moral of the story?

Life is not that deep. 😁

_____

Would you like to give your life to Jesus? Simply pray with your lips, “Lord Jesus. I am sorry for all my sins. Come into my heart, forgive me and cleanse me with your Blood. I believe You died and rose again, and I accept You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.” Welcome to the family! 🤗Drop a note, and we will be glad to reach out!

(Do you have a prayer request? Send it in. We will DEFINITELY be praying. Testimonies? Questions/Topics you want discussed? Suggestions on the blog? Drop a note. All private and anonymous. We will share only if requested.)

10 Comments

  1. lisamarcelina says:

    What a beautiful post. I totally agree with no. 4 Be Humble. Humility is key to battling envy, as well as giving. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Debby Osa says:

      …and thank you for reading 🙂

  2. “If Judah had seen that the Messiah would come through his lineage, he would not have envied his brother, Joseph.” So powerful!! Hmm… I’ve had my own share of envy too and you’re right it dark and it’s only light from God that can conquer it.

    1. Debby Osa says:

      We’ve all had it, Sis 🙂 Thank God for His light.

  3. Donna Miller says:

    Wow this is SO good, Debby! God has brought stuff to the surface for me, too, to skim away. And and one time I tried to squash it instead of laying it at His feet to deal with so it could be removed forever! You are an absolute beautiful writer and I love how you string your healing words together! Praying for God to use you impactfully in this hurting world. Blessings … 🙏💕

    1. Debby Osa says:

      Amen, Donna🙏. Thank you for your words – and thank you for reading.💕

  4. Lisa Blair says:

    This is really the only way to have victory, Debby, “That was the only way I could deal with the emotions inside me – in the presence of God. I prayed until every trace of that darkness disappeared. God went to the roots and removed it.”

  5. These are all such good points. I especially like the reminder that we’re all a part of the body, we each have different functions. Even though I know that on one level, I need to be reminded. And humility is a big factor as well. May God deliver us from our desire to be the one shining brightest.

    1. Debby Osa says:

      I say a big Amen – and thank you for reading.

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