Your Greatest Enemy in 2019

Your Greatest Enemy in 2019

Happy New Year!!!

I hope you enjoyed some quality time with family and friends. Our family joined some friends last night and brought in the New Year with games, laughter, love, and encouragement. We made it to midnight! But we had our fair share of incoherent sentences and slurred words. No alcohol was involved, haha.

Today, I wanted to remind you of what you already know in hope that your New Year starts off on the right path. I wanted to remind you to stand firm against your greatest enemy.

What is our greatest enemy in 2019?

Forgetfulness.

This year, I wanted to bring in 2019 with one goal—to remember. But this concept didn’t just come to mind one day. It kept ringing in my ear for months; this notion that if I want to accomplish anything in life, I must remember to remember.

Sounds weird, right?

However, I looked through scripture for some clarity and discovered there’s a profound emphasis on remembering and a stern admonishment against forgetfulness.

In the New Year, I’m aiming to leave behind the following habits. Will you join me?


Habits to Leave Behind in 2019

 

 

1. Forgetting to set the right goals.

Losing weight and starting a business are great goals. But how many of us take the time to set the right goals? Setting the right goals will help us accomplish anything our heart desires.

And what are the right goals?

Let’s start with “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:33).

Seek the Kingdom of God

And here are a few others!

“Above all else, let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives…” (1 Corinthians 14:1).

“Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands… Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12).

“So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him” (2 Corinthians 5:9).

 

2. Forgetting to write down your goals.

So many people make declarations, but few of us take the time to actually write them down. What difference does it make?

We will forget them!

Documenting our goals on paper is the first step to achieving them. It makes them official and holds us accountable to them.

After Israel defeated the Amalekites, the Lord instructed Moses:

“Write this down on a scroll as a permanent reminder, and read it aloud to Joshua: I will erase the memory of Amalek from under heaven” (Exodus 17:14).

This verse serves as a reminder that documenting things in writing ensures it is never forgotten. So, let’s take it a step further and hang those goals up somewhere where we’ll be sure to see them every single day and as often as possible.

 

3. Forgetting your commitment.

Life gets busy. So much so that sometimes we’re so busy doing life that our goals get pushed to the sidelines. One week of taking time off from pursuing a goal can catastrophically turn into one month. The next thing we know, the next year is vastly approaching and we’re wondering where those twelve months went!

We’ve forgotten our goals.

We’ve abandoned our commitment.

But, what does commitment look like? In Deuteronomy 6:7, when God made the call to Israel for wholehearted commitment to his commands, he said this:

“Repeat them again and again…”

“Talk about them often…”

“Put them everywhere that you’ll be reminded of them…”

Although he was talking about his commands, we can take these strategies for practicing commitment and apply them to our goals.

The bottom line: when something is truly important to us, we do everything in our power to commit to it.

 

4. Forgetting the future.

We have a bad habit of looking at the past and allowing it to dictate our direction. Let’s forget the past but remember the future because that’s where we’re headed. The future is where our goals are realized. Where our success is.

Consider this verse when Paul tells us about pressing on toward his goal:

“But I focus on one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:12).

Forget the Past

Proverbs 4:25 also stresses the importance of looking forward:

“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.”

Why do these verses suggest looking forward and not to the past? Because when we live in the past, we tend to forget the future.

How bright it is!

How exciting it is!

How fruitful it is!

Remember, faith is not the substance of what we can see, but what we cannot see and what we’ve yet to see. Looking to the future strengthens our faith and focus. Looking to the past keeps us bound by it.

 

5. Forgetting to count your wins.

Let’s forget about how many times we’ve failed. Instead, let’s remember to count our victories. One method that helped me in the past was taking inventory on a regular basis. Every so often, I would ask myself what I did right and reflect on those things. When I started this exercise, it suddenly occurred to me how much I focused on my failures and how rarely I thought about my wins.

Consider this verse:

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

When we reflect on our failures, we start identifying ourselves as failures. Which is simply not true. Romans 8: 37 tells us we are more than conquerors! Furthermore, we must remember we are what we think. For, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).

 

6. Forgetting what you learned from your losses.

Mistakes really suck, but they drive us closer to our goals. They are invaluable teachers. They tell us what works and what doesn’t work.

In every mistake, every loss, every failure, there is something to be learned. We must make it a priority to learn the lesson so that we won’t repeat the mistake. When we learn the lesson, we become more effective, resilient, and wise because of it.

“For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity” (Proverbs 24:16).

When we make mistakes this year, let’s not beat ourselves up. Instead, let’s ask, “What did I learn?” I highly suggest writing down what you’ve learned so that you never forget it.

Learning from Mistakes Quotes

 

7. Forgetting how weak you are.

Put no confidence in the flesh. If you’re on a weight loss journey and you know you’ll eat every bag of chips in your pantry before the weekend is through, it’s time to stop bringing chips into the house. If you’re on a journey to become more productive and you know you spend hours on your phone scrolling through social media every day, it’s time to get an old-school flip phone.

“For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:3).

Why shouldn’t we put confidence in the flesh? Because “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires” (Romans 8:5).

Our flesh wants what’s comfortable.

Achieving goals and reaching new heights is uncomfortable, so naturally your flesh will fight against it. The commitment required to achieve a goal hurts. The hard work, discipline, setbacks, etc. can really take a toll on us. Let’s not make it harder on ourselves. Let’s eliminate all distractions, temptations, and detours and keep our eyes on the prize!

 

8. Forgetting how capable you are.

Honestly, you can do it. Whatever it is. With God’s help, you’re more than capable of doing the seemingly impossible. Remember, we can do all things through Christ who strengthen us (Philippians 4:13).

Also, consider:

“His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).

Yes, we have everything we need. Even when it doesn’t seem like it. I’m sure most of you have heard of the story of the woman and the jar of oil in 2 Kings, chapter four.

To paraphrase:

The woman’s husband died, left a debt behind, and now the debt collectors wanted to take her two sons and make them servants. This woman cried out to the prophet Elisha in fear, hoping he could help her, and he responded, “What do you have in your house?”

The woman replied that she had nothing except a jar of oil. The prophet then instructed her to use what she had. To go and collect empty jars from her neighbors, fill the jars with oil, sell them, and pay the debt collectors what she owed them. The woman did just that and experienced the miracle of multiplication as that one jar of oil was able to fill numerous empty jars to the brim.

She was able to pay her debt, keep her two sons, and live on the rest of the earnings.

The moral? Whatever little you think you have, use it! Whether it’s talent, resources, discipline, or passion—utilize it and watch it multiply and bring your goals to fruition.

 

9. Forgetting not to please people.

People-pleasing is a trap so many of us fall into. It’s easy to do in the age of social media where we’re sharing more of our highlight reels than ever before. For this reason, I know that some of us set goals to impress others, win their approval, or one-up them. But we must ask ourselves, how impressed is God by us?

Consider Paul’s words:

“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant” (Galatians 1:10).

Quotes on not impressing people

Here’s the thing, it’s not the goal—it’s the intention of our hearts. Our goals should never be selfish but should be of benefit to others.

If you’re starting a business, what charities or causes will you support with your newfound wealth? Or will you simply live an ostentatious lifestyle?

If you’re buying a new car, who will you bless with your old car? How many people will you offer to give rides in that new car? Or will you simply boast about your new purchase on social media?

If you’re losing weight, will you share your journey with others so that they, too, can experience weight loss? Or will you simply show off your new body to your overweight friends and secretly love being thinner than them?

The best goals are those that give back to the community. Let’s leave selfish motives behind in 2019.

 

10. Forgetting that God is in control.

Everything is working out for your good. Even if you can’t see it at the time. No matter how many goals we set or plans we make, sometimes God takes us on a seemingly different path. If we try to fight it, we’ll just end up further away from our goals than we need to be.

Consider this:

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21).

Our goals are not for us, they are to achieve a kingdom purpose—to benefit the next generations to come. It may seem like it’s just weight loss, but you are setting the tone for your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc., to live a healthier lifestyle.

Therefore, that fad diet may not be working for you because God wants to introduce you to a lifestyle change that is healthy and worth imitating by those who are watching you. This concept applies to any goal we make.

Things may not happen how we want them to, but we can rest in the comfort that God is in control and knows best.

Let’s take God out of the box in 2019 and let him help us achieve our goals HIS way!

Until next time, friends…

Do We Still Homeschool?

Do We Still Homeschool? Where Have I Been?

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been on a hiatus. I never intended to take this long of a break from this platform. But here I am six months later writing this post.

During my absence, some of you wanted to know the answer to two questions:

  1. Do we still homeschool?
  2. Where have I been?

Yes, we still homeschool. We’re finishing up the first semester of our fourth year and it’s been great so far. One of the better years, for sure.

But where have I been and why do I keep disappearing? I hope the following sentiments help you understand what is going on inside my head.

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The pride of life. That’s the phrase that kept ringing in my ear whenever I thought about social media. But I never gave it much thought until I heard someone quote 1 John 2:16.

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.

1 John 2:16 For all that is on the world

This scripture convicted me, but I didn’t fully understand the extent of that conviction. Desires of the flesh and desires of the eyes are straightforward, but what does the pride of life even mean? Shouldn’t we be proud of the life God gave us and the blessings that come with it?

During this time of conviction, I lost my desire to partake in social media. It started the day I caught a glimpse of my children snuggled on the couch with their dad. As someone who used social media as a platform to connect with my readers, of course, I thought this precious moment was worthy of being captured for the world to see. Only, I picked up my phone to discover it wouldn’t turn on. I’d forgotten to recharge it. I let the moment pass, but couldn’t shake the way I was feeling. Why did I feel so annoyed that I didn’t get to capture that moment? 

I started paying closer attention to my thought process. For self-examination purposes, I scrolled through my Instagram page to get a better understanding of what I chose to post and why. The reality sobered me. There were some questionable posts that I know for certain didn’t come from a desire to inspire or help others. And while I’m typically mindful of refraining from overt bragging, there were many “humble brag” posts that slipped through the cracks.

What are humble brag posts? Posts with an ulterior motive. Posts that look like humility on the surface, but the real motive is to show how good-looking you are, fit you are, intelligent you are, spiritual you are, blessed you are, or successful you are. These posts are typically under the guise of inspiration, tips, ideas, advice, or spirituality—and they are designed to showcase you in the best light possible.

So, I had to ask again; What does the pride of life really mean?  My quest led me to this definition:

“The pride of life can be defined as anything that is “of the world,” meaning anything that leads to arrogance, ostentation [showiness, flashiness], pride in self, presumption, and boasting. (Words in brackets are mine.)

Quotes about Prideful Person

 

Let’s go a little deeper, shall we? What do the pride of life, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes have in common? They are notoriously known as the “three temptations of sin.” Biblical scholars note the very first illustration of these three temptations is in the story of Adam and Eve. We all know the story; Eve sees the apple as desirable to eat (lust of the eyes), good for food (lust of the flesh), and desirable for gaining wisdom and becoming like God (the pride of life). It is the same approach that Satan used to tempt Jesus.

But why is the pride of life so significant? Because it is the vehicle for the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes. Everything we do that displeases God is driven by the pride of life. I won’t even try to think up better examples for the pride of life, as Revelation.co summed it up nicely, here:

  • Desiring to get credit or glory for things that others (or God) did.
  • Desiring for others to worship us or hold us in excess esteem, “to make a name for ourselves.”
  • Desiring to feel valued or more important than others around us.
  • Desiring to have positions of power over others in a way that puffs up our own ego for the sake of bragging rights (Jesus said that those who desire to be great should be the greatest servant).

So, you see, social media platforms are successful because they play off the “pride of life.” We are looking for praise from others, worship from others, status above others, or power over others. Scroll through your social media pages and be real with yourself; how many of your posts fell into any one of the above categories? How many of your posts are disguised as inspiration, ideas, tips, or spirituality, but you can admit that the real motive fell into one of the above categories? How many times did you look at someone else’s posts and covet what they had? Judged them? Or felt superior to them? I am not here to condemn, but to enlighten:

If you are a Believer using social media as your platform, you MUST examine yourself OFTEN!

This is why I had to step away from these platforms. I needed to reevaluate myself. I didn’t want to return (if I ever returned) until I had a clean heart and clear conscious. Make no mistake that God does not place Himself into a box. He can and will use whatever He desires to further His Kingdom agenda—yes, even social media. However, as a Believer I ought to be sure that I’m pointing others to Christ, not myself. I love this quote that I stumbled across, but forgive me for not recalling the author:

A prideful person uses himself as the standard for others’ performance. But a humble person looks at the life of Jesus as the example and points people to Him.

Quotes about Prideful People

 

This quote reminds me of 1 Corinthians 1:31; Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”  It is my prayer that whatever I share from here on out reflects this truth.

The truth is our homeschool journey is a miracle. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without God.

During this season of my life, my desire is to inspire women who are called to homeschool; to allow my journey to serve as testimony that you don’t have to have the perfect circumstances to walk in your calling. If you’ve been trekking with me, you know that God called me and my husband to homeschool at the MOST inconvenient time. With limited finances and resources, homeschooling took a huge leap of faith. And, yet, here we are well into our fourth year! We’ve grown businesses, made awesome friends, and have everything we need to homeschool successfully.

Lately, I’ve been receiving emails and increased visits to my blog. Some of you have written me lovely messages describing how much my posts have inspired you during your homeschool journey. I want to take the time to say thank you! Your encouragement reminded me of why I started this whole thing in the first place. Blogging has been the perfect way for me to combine my love for writing with teaching and inspiring others. Instagram and Facebook have been fun ways to connect with all of you outside the blog and share day-in-the-life videos and posts.

They are not my “platforms,” they are ways to connect with those of you separated by distance. In fact, my prayer is that I make a conscious effort to make God my platform. He is the only foundation on which I should choose to stand.

I’m not saying that everything I do from here on out will be perfect or that I’m now exempt from falling into the pride of life. What I will say is that my goal is to simply be a light in any way the Lord calls me to do it. And as a fun fact: I actually wrote this post in July 2017 during one of my first social media breaks. I never posted it because I wasn’t even sure it was coherent and thought it was too preachy. But whatever the case, it was on my heart to share this just as it is. So here you go!

If you have any questions about faith, family, or homeschool, feel free to drop me a line. Until next time, friends…

 

Is Homeschool Your Calling?

5 Ways to Know Homeschool Is Your Calling

I fell to my knees. My hands cupped my face. Tears fell into my palms. And I finally cried.

I wanted to know once and for all, “Is this homeschool thing for me?”

It sure didn’t seem like it.

Yet, He finally had me where He wanted me.

God, that is.

For months I’d suppressed the question, “Is this homeschool thing for me?” I’d wondered if I’d just made this whole “calling” thing up. If this was really what God wanted our family to do.

Each day felt riskier than the last. Three years in and I wondered “What on earth are we actually doing? Are we actually trusting ourselves to prepare our BLACK sons for academic success?”

And because fear begets more fear, I started worrying about other things. Financing resources. Hiccups in the family business. Lack of security without a corporate job. Crazy healthcare costs. Taxes.

The light at the end of the tunnel grew so dim that anxiety was the only darkness I could see.

And I fell to my knees.

“Lord!” I cried. “Show us…Show us that we’re walking on the right path. And if we’re not, give us the courage to walk away.”

Suddenly, I couldn’t cry anymore. It was as if peace had forced its way into my troubled spirit. I kneeled there, hands still cupping my face, and listened.

And then a voice said: “Deep down you know that putting your boys into public school isn’t the answer. Deep down you know you weren’t called to live life like everyone else.”

And that voice was right. I wanted to be “normal.” I wanted our family to be “normal.” But I also knew that “normal” came with its own set of problems. That I’d just be trading my current set of problems in for new ones—trading my current fears for new fears.

No. What I truly wanted was peace. Not to be “normal.” The peace of knowing that whatever happens, God works things out for the good of those who love Him and who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

I tried to sleep that night, but I just couldn’t. I was thinking about this blog post. First, the title popped into my mind “Ways to Know Homeschool Is Your Calling.” Then, I went through all the points in my head, as I lay there desperately attempting to enter into rest.

“Get up!” I felt a voice saying. “You said you wanted to know if homeschool is your calling, and now I’m giving you the concise reply you are seeking.”

So, I rolled out of bed at 1am and headed to the office with my notebook. Now, here we are: 5 Ways to Know If Homeschool is Your Calling. I hope this post blesses you as much as it has blessed me.

 

1. You have a vision.

Without a Vision Meme, Quote, Inspiration

Vision is everything. In our case, it’s what my husband and I couldn’t see that made our vision plain. When we started discussing our vision for the future of our son’s education, we couldn’t see him in public school. In fact, we’d initially planned on placing him in a private school once he reached school age.

It wasn’t until I’d stumbled upon a text illustrating the rise of homeschool that a lightbulb went off. I didn’t know anything about homeschool, but it seemed like the perfect fulfillment of our vision.

Homeschool seemed right. But it also seemed far-fetched considering we were in no position to homeschool at the time. Still, we envisioned the places we could travel with our children, the types of subjects we could teach them, the freedom our boys would have to learn at their own pace, and the freedom they’d have to be themselves.

Little did we know, after five years of flirting with the idea of homeschool, we’d finally take that leap of courage. But it started with a vision.

God always provides a vision, even when the calling isn’t meant to be fulfilled until decades later. God gave Abraham a visual reference to His calling on Abraham’s life when He told him his “descendants will be as numerous as the stars in the sky” (Gen. 26:4). It took twenty-five years for that promise to be fulfilled.

Similarly, as a young man, Joseph had prophetic dreams that someday he’d be in a position of power and reverence. He could envision his family bowing down to him even though it didn’t make perfect sense at the time. More than a decade later, that vision was fulfilled when Joseph became second in command in Egypt.

It all starts with a vision.

 

2. It intimidates you.

If it scares you it might be a good thing to try. Inspiration, Quotes, Memes

I remember the mental struggle I went through right before submitting my Declaration of Intent to homeschool. The year ahead seemed very intimidating. I wasn’t sure if I could teach my son how to read, and I wasn’t even sure if I could teach him anything at all for that matter. I weighed the pros and cons in my mind. The cons scared me greatly and served as the foundation for my many objections.

What if my children don’t learn enough? What if they don’t make any friends? What if they hate it? What if they don’t get accepted into college? To ease my anxieties, I bargained with myself—and God—that I’d be brave enough to “try homeschool” for one full school year and see if it’s truly a fit for our family.

You know who else bargained with God when they received an intimidating calling?

Moses.

You’ll read in Exodus that during the exchange between God and Moses, Moses had objections to leading the Israelites out of Egypt. “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” He asked (Exodus 3:11). That was his first objection. His second objection doubted the One who sent him. His third objection doubted the people he was called to lead. His fourth objection doubted his qualifications. Finally, Moses just outright denies the calling and asks God to, “Send someone else” (Exodus 4:13).

 

3. You have to make sacrifices.

True Success Requires Sacrifice. Inspiration, Quotes, Memes

Financial sacrifice is among the most popular challenges of the homeschool lifestyle. After all, in a typical homeschool family, one parent must either refrain from working or cut back on work hours.

Our family is no different. The decision to homeschool meant we’d be taking a financial hit. That meant we wouldn’t be able to indulge in the luxuries of life without penalty. Dining out, family vacations, new cars, new gadgets, and other luxuries were few and far between. Instead, we put money toward homeschool resources, enrichment activities, and other necessities.

And that was just the beginning.

Essentially, we sacrificed our comfort zone—the ability to call ourselves a “normal” family. Nothing is “normal” about homeschool. It changed the trajectory of our life. It changed our thought-patterns. It changed the way we saw ourselves. It changed the way we saw the world. It forced us to connect with people who don’t look like us, think like us, or believe like us.

But there is nothing new under the sun, especially when it comes to sacrifices and callings.

In the Bible, Moses had to sacrifice his comfortable lifestyle in the Egyptian palace in order to fulfill his calling to lead the Israelites to freedom. Esther was willing to sacrifice her life and position as Queen of Persia to fulfill her calling to save her people from slaughter. Joseph unknowingly had to sacrifice his freedom to fulfill his calling to become second in command in Egypt, where he’d be in position to save many lives from a severe famine. Catch my drift?

Homeschool may not be as profound as the aforementioned callings, but it does come with its own set of challenges that will force you out of your comfort zone.

 

4. It ignites a passion in you.

Passion Memes, Inspiration, Quotes

Even with all the intimidation, the challenges, and the sacrifices weighing you down, something inside you keeps pushing you forward. I’ve realized that “something” is called passion. Passion is the reason I get right back up after a bad day (or a bad week!) and keep going. Passion is the reason I don’t quit even when I want to.

Passion is the reason I’m writing this blog post and sharing my experience with a hope that you’ll be encouraged to fulfill your calling to homeschool.

 

Think about it. There had to be something that kept Moses going when Pharaoh kept saying “no.” Something that kept Abraham believing even up to the twenty-fifth year after a promise was spoken to him.  Something that kept Paul going in the midst of ongoing persecution. Something that kept Jesus going until it was “finished.”

Passion gives way to unshakeable faith.

But it needs to be renewed daily.

If you find yourself losing the passion to homeschool, simply ask God to rekindle that flame.

 

5. It draws you closer to God.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8

When God calls us to do something out of our league, we’re going to need Him! He puts us in this position of total dependency so that He can receive all the glory. So that we can never take credit for what we couldn’t possibly do without Him.

I once thought this homeschool journey was essentially about my children’s education. I was wrong. Everything God calls us to do is always about advancing His Kingdom—about drawing us closer to Him so that we can draw others to Him.

For me, drawing closer to God means that I’m growing in love, character, perseverance, and faith. And I know with certainty that my children have front row seats to my walk with God—That I am teaching them through my actions how to respond to challenges, disappointments, setbacks, fears, blessings, mercy, and favor.

I love Solomon’s plea to the Lord, asking Him for more wisdom and knowledge to govern His people (2 Chron. 1:10). But where did this plea initiate? During his father, David’s, reign, Solomon observed the value of divine wisdom and wanted to lead God’s people as faithfully and successfully as David had.

When I think about this scripture a question comes to mind: Are my children inspired by my walk with God or discouraged by it?  After all, they are the future of God’s kingdom.


I want to end this post by saying all callings have a season. Some of us are called to homeschool for the full eighteen years, while others are meant to homeschool for less than half that time. However long or short your season is, remember that God is with you through it all and He will give you everything you need if you just ask Him.

Obviously, these aren’t the only ways to know if homeschool is your calling. I want to hear from you: What inspired you to homeschool?

 

12 Ways I Overcame Jealousy

12 Ways I Overcame Jealousy  

No one ever wants to admit they get jealous. Yet, jealousy is one of the common strains in human relationships. There are many ways to define jealousy; envious, covetous, resentful, insecure, begrudging, the list of synonyms goes on. Today, I’m going to talk about jealousy in the form of envy.

In my post last week, 50 Random Facts About Me, one of the questions I answered was “Do you get jealous?” My initial response was, no. But I didn’t feel like that answer would set anyone free from the stigmas surrounding jealousy. Feeling jealous isn’t fun. And when we feel like we’re the only one who experiences this emotion, it makes it all the more difficult to defeat the green-eyed monster.

We all experience jealousy at one point or another. But if we never admit to it, how do we defeat something that we’re in denial even exists? Better yet, how do we help others who struggle with this “not so fun” emotion?

So, instead of answering no, I had this to say in my last post:

“Yes [I get jealous]. But I don’t stay jealous for long. I’ve learned strategies to conquer the green-eyed monster whenever it threatens to steal my joy. Perhaps I’ll write a future post about it.”

Well, the time is now to write that post! Today, I will raise my hand and say, “Yes, jealousy can be a struggle for me if I don’t check it at the door.” It’s not an everyday thing, but when it does happen, it can take anywhere from a couple seconds to a couple days to heal from it—maybe more depending on where I am spiritually. The great news is, the more I overcome jealousy, the less power it has over me.

Here are some methods I’ve put into practice that helped me put jealousy to rest.

 

1. I wanted to change.

And I wanted it badly. I hated “hating on” other people. It hurt. I can’t quite pinpoint when this desire emerged, perhaps my mid-twenties, but I can say it’s been a passion of mine ever since. Jealousy was a disease that I wanted no part of. It was debilitating. That’s why I’m writing this post; in hope that someone will take the necessary steps to be freed and healed from this dangerous emotion. But, you must want to change, first.

 

2. I realized jealousy has a root.

That root is fear. It helps to know this because I could then ask myself questions like, “Nike, what is it about this person’s accomplishments that you fear?” The answer? In my younger years, I feared that someone else’s accomplishments, beauty, spirituality, possessions, etc., diminished my own. In other words, I allowed myself to feel small in the presence of another person’s greatness—to fear that I’m not enough.

Never allow yourself to feel small in the presence of another person's greatness

 

3. I admitted I was Jealous.

Everyone knows that admitting the problem is the first step to recovery. I used to mask my jealousy by putting it off on the other person. I would say things like, “That person is soooo braggadocious” (yes, I used words like “braggadocious,” haha) or, “That person thinks they’re so much better than everyone.” But when I closely examined the thought-process behind my words, I realized my assumptions were rooted in jealousy. It wasn’t until I admitted this ugly truth about myself that I could begin the healing process.

 

4. I made a choice.

Once I became honest with myself, I had a decision to make; I could continue to poison myself with jealousy by holding on to it, or, I could free myself and let it go. The ball was in MY court. I didn’t have to entertain jealousy. I didn’t have to STAY jealous. I could let it go. So, I did. It wasn’t always easy and still isn’t, but each time it gets easier.

 

5. I filled myself with good things.

What you’re full of eventually spills out of you. I’m a Believer, so I like to fill myself with scripture, focusing on this particular verse:

Philippians 4:8 Verse Scripture MemeThe power of thoughts is not some new-age concept, this notion existed since the beginning of time. The more I meditate on good things, the less room I have for negativity. Think about it; is it easy to pour liquid into a full glass of water? In the same way, it’s not easy to pour jealousy into a full spirit.

 

6. I recognized jealousy is a seed.

Once you entertain it, once you nurture it, it just keeps growing until it can no longer be contained. Remember when I said, “What you’re full of eventually spills out of you?” Trust me, you may think you’re hiding your jealousy well, but it WILL come out. When it does, it will reflect poorly on your character. It happened to me. That’s a story for another day. But I’ve learned what’s done in darkness is always brought into the light. It may seem like “just a thought,” but any thought, when meditated on long enough, has the potential to be carried out into action.

 

7. I became more productive.

I asked myself, “What are you doing with your disposable time?” Am I idly scrolling through social media? Am I binge-watching Netflix? Am I entertaining gossipy conversations? These things are not only breeding grounds for jealousy, they are thieves of time! Have you ever heard of this saying?:

The difference between the wealthy and the poor is how they spend their free timeI’ve found that being productive is a great way for me to mind my own business. When I’m minding my own business, I have no time to invite jealousy by seeing what she’s up to. There’s no time for me to meditate on the things I don’t have by watching shows where people are glamorous and live glamorous lives. And, there’s no time to entertain conversations that start off with, “Girl, you’ll never believe what so and so did.”

 

8. I monitored my self-talk.

Self-esteem is measured by the way we think and feel about ourselves. I used to think of myself as a confident person, but I became amazed at the things I told myself when I wasn’t paying attention. A devotional by Barb Roose, titled Beautiful Already, was what inspired me to REALLY listen to the lies I told myself about myself. Even today, I must still take heed and pay attention, lest I subconsciously fall into negative thought-patterns. Why is this important? Because when we don’t feel good about ourselves, we project those insecurities onto others. In other words, we become jealous of other people’s confidence and seek to tear them down. After all, misery loves company.

 

9. I realized God doesn’t owe me anything.

Ah, entitlement. That dangerous feeling we get when we feel like God, or the world, owes us something. It seeps out whenever we see someone we view as “less deserving” receive something we want. A husband. A new car. A raise. Fame. Status. I can attest that it doesn’t feel good when you have to watch someone receive all the things you’ve been hoping for. But I’ve come to learn that God doesn’t owe me anything. It’s a tough truth to grasp, but we must all take hold of it, nonetheless. The sooner we do, the less hold jealousy will have over us. I can’t tell you how many times I must remind myself of this truth to this day. But when it sinks in, my inner peace is established.

 

10. I practiced contentment.

I’ll let you in on a little secret; if you don’t practice contentment, you will always want MORE. Why do we want more? Because we develop a habit of fixing our eyes on things other people have that we don’t have—envy.  I remember it clearly. I was discontent with the way things were going, sitting on my couch moping around. Then I had a vision:

I was sitting on an expensive couch, but in a huge mansion filled with beautiful things. Yet, I wasn’t happy. I was still dissatisfied. Still moping around. I could feel myself getting frustrated, asking myself, “Girl, why are you so dissatisfied when you live in this huge mansion?” It was then that this truth sank in: If you’re not happy with the little things, you won’t be happy with the big things.

If you aren’t happy with the little things, you won’t be happy with the big things.

11. I realized I needed help.

God’s help. I’ll always lose if I try to battle jealousy in and of my own strength. Trust me, there was a time when I tried and failed. No. My strength must come from God, and it begins with repentance—confessing my jealousy to God and seeking his strength to overcome it.

12. I worked toward REAL confidence.

When we place our confidence in how much we have, how much we’re adored, how good-looking we are, how talented we are, how famous we are, how educated we are, and how many titles we earn, we set ourselves up for failure. Real confidence does not come from any of these things—it comes from trusting in Who’s in your corner.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.” (Jeremiah 17:7)

When we take hold of true confidence, we experience true fulfillment. Isn’t that what we’re all striving for, anyway? Isn’t that why we run after material things? Status? Relationships? Power? To feel a sense of fulfillment? To fill a void? Isn’t that why we become jealous of others? Because their life seems more “fulfilled” than ours? Consider this verse from James 4:1-3:

James 4:1-3 Verse, Scripture, Meme


 

I don’t quite know how to end this post. But what I want to say is that no one is exempt from the temptation of jealousy. We can, however, choose whether we give in to that temptation. These are some of the steps I took, and still take, in order to stand firm against jealousy. I cannot take credit. All credit goes to God the Father, who is a wise and patient teacher.

If jealousy is something you struggle with, pray this prayer with all your heart, mind, body, and soul:

Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for my jealous ways, and direct me toward the ways of the Lord. I thank you, Lord, that you are a patient God who is slow to anger and abundant in love. I praise you for your mercy that is new every morning. Reveal to me all the seeds planted in me that gave root to my jealousy, so that I may be steadfast and alert of the enemy’s schemes. Help me to renew my mind daily, dear God, to reflect more of your truth. I praise you in advance for giving me everything I need to live a godly life that is pleasing to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.  

God bless you! Have any tips to add? Don’t be shy! Let us know in the comments.