I just secretly scrolled through every last one of your photos, close-ups of toes in the sand, fruity drinks with an adorable little yellow umbrella popped-up on the side, a wedge of pineapple and the whole shebang. Flashing white pearlies against tanned cheeks, rosy from too much sun.
And then, just now, I walked to my car in the most horrible kind of wind-whipping 'polar vortex' temperatures that actually hurt your teeth.
Maybe I'm living through your experience as an escape.
Maybe I do really envy you, secretly wish that your life was mine.
Maybe I feel that I have to compete with you. To put up the latest and greatest activity I just accomplished with my kids.
This week alone, I've had a handful of conversations about struggling with the 'highlight reels' we see playing over and over on the Facebook machine. We are living in a new age.
An all-knowing, all-seeing, always uploaded and updated age.
Is the idea of envy really a new one? Yes, the means by which it is delivered is much different, but God was addressing the problem of envy long before our generation took the stage.
Let us not become vainglorious and self-conceited, competitive and challenging and provoking and irritating to one another, envying and being jealous of one another." Galatians 5:26 AMP
It's even in the ten commandments for heaven's sake!
"You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Exodus 20:17
You shall not covet your neighbor's tropical vacation. (my emphasis)
The problem with envy is that it can lead to thoughts and actions that divide and isolate us.
When we are competing or envying our friends' Facebook highlight reel, we are less likely to open up about our real struggles and end up thinking we must be the only one who doesn't have it together. Don't walk through the valleys alone. We are designed to walk together.
The truth is: My life is not all that glamourous.
And I have a suspicion that besides that week you spent in Jamaica, your life looks a lot like mine too.
As a body of believers, we are to work together, unified in our purpose.
How can we be unified if there is a wall up around our heart and a seething sort of discontent brewing inside of us?
Let's practice gratitude to combat the ever present struggle. Because we have so much to be grateful for. The fact that we have each other. The fact that I have you as my friend.
And through that gratitude and unity let's accomplish great things together for HIS kingdom right here. Right now.
"And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:14