First - Some people take note of my writing. A classmate gets spitefully jealous.
Second - God brings it to my attention that I am severely hurting my walk by comparing myself to others.
Third - Chris pointed out great, Biblical posts about envy on the Girl Talk blog (definitely worth reading).
Fourth, and the force behind this post - A classmate gets her story published in a fairly well-known magazine, and I find myself on the other side of success, desperate to rejoice with her and banish jealous thoughts from my mind.
The premise of above-mentioned series is John 21:20-22 -
Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who had been reclining at table close to him and had said, "Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?" When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, "Lord, what about this man?" Jesus said to him, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!"
This is a fantastic passage. It's encouraging that it's available the time I need it--I had forgotten it existed!
To summarize the outstanding parts of the series: When we envy, "we don’t want others to have what we can’t have. We want to be the best. We doubt God’s goodness." It's not our business or prerogative to know ("what is that to you?") why God chooses some woman to be gorgeous, or some men to be adored the world over, or some to own a fancy house and car or to raise angelic children. God will not do something that ultimately brings harm, no matter how the situation looks through our eyes.
What we go through is his specific design for one specific life. We are not called to examine the circumstances of our neighbors, peeking over their fences to see if their yard is small and trashy or huge and well-kept. We are only called to walk after him ("You follow me!")
As I continue to write for his glory, I must fix my eyes on his face. Whether I flourish or fail is not the point. I want to be a "Chariots of Fire" woman, delighted that when I write, I can feel God's pleasure!