Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sheltering from the Heart

Envy is the art of counting the other fellow's blessings instead of your own. ~Harold Coffin 

Stepping on the pedal to help fill her bear.
One of the fun activities I was privileged to share with Morgan was a trip to Build-a-Bear.  She was just sure she wanted to build-a-monkey, but when a pink bear caught her eye, it was love at first sight.

I love our Build-a-Bear store because those who work there are so upbeat, yet gentle, with the children. The boy who helped us handed Morgan a heart for her bear.  "Rub the heart on your side so she's always by your side.  Rub it on your back so she will always have your back.  Rub it on your heart so she will give you lots of love."  After a kiss and a wish, Morgan tucked the heart in her bear.

As I stood there and watched, I found myself wishing we all had a heart like the bear does.  Always by our friend's side, always having their back and always giving lots of love.  God intended for our hearts to be full of love for each other.  But with the inherent nature of Adam and Eve's sin, our heart is divided. Jealousy of others keeps us from having a true friend's heart.  Jealousy of money, of social status, and marriage contentment.  Jealousy of body figures, achievements and talents.

Conversation while waiting for birth certificate to print.
I do not mean for this to condemn my readers. Believe me, I am searching my own heart to make sure this sin is not seeking entrance. It's one of the enemy's favorite tools. Now the works of the flesh are evident...jealousies...of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-20).

Jealousy is being resentful towards another for their successes.  It is an unrest of the heart connecting with a discomfort in the pit of the stomach.  Jealousy discolors our joy, disturbs our peace, and destroys our friendships.
Jealousy affects our health.  Peace of mind means a healthy body, but jealousy will rot your bones (Proverbs 14:30).  Depression, sadness, and sometimes even anger result from our jealous feelings.

Auntie was taking pictures of 2 of her favorite people
There are ways we can change this malady of green eyes:  1) Make a list of all your blessings.  It's hard to be jealous of another when we see all the ways God has blessed us.  2) Get your eyes off yourself and do something to bless another.  There is nothing more satisfying than focusing on someone else.

You know that my "go-to" verse is Philippians 4:8, (Brothers and sisters, think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected.) but if you memorize the words, internalize the meaning, and put it into practice, you will find those jealous feelings Satan is trying to sneak into your heart will disappear from lack of nourishment.

Cherish your friends.  Be thankful they are different from you.  Stick to their side, make sure you have their back, and give lots of love.  That's the Build-a-Bear way -- a true, Godly friend's way.

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Anonymous said...

I have read so many wonderful post today connecting to God on a direct path. Being human we do have our moments of envy, jelousy or even coveting anther's 'things'. I myself feel so blessed with what God has give to me and my husband. When we need, it's there. When we have, we give. When we learn, we grow and so on. We all take on earthly qualities that may compromise the best of ourselves but the correction can be made instantly. That is HIS promise. Great post. Hugs to the bear, the child and the g'ma.

Kara Plank said...

Love this post! When we count our blessings, it's easy to see how God has blessed us. Further still from our nature- is to acknowledge that if we do not have what most call "blessings" of this life, we still are blessed, since being blessed in Christ is not what He does for us or what He gives us. Just to to be chosen by Him, to be heard by Him is more than we deserve.
I too am thankful for friends with a "bear-like" heart. Hard to find, but a treasure when found!

Kelli said...

Hi Pamela,
this is such a great post...thank you for the gentle reminder to be thankful...jealousy is such a sneaky sin in my life. I have much to be thankful for, but I can vividly recall the feelings you were speaking of!
Also, thanks for stopping by my blog! I love to make my blocks reversible, it's such a space saver! I hope you try it soon, I'd love to see what you make! :)

Joan said...

The verse you quoted from Philippians is probably one of the verse ones I memorized at a child in our demoniation's girls missionary program. It is a verse that I would do good to remember each and every day.


Denise said...

Such a wonderful post.

Cooking Up Faith said...

Wow - what a beautiful post - God is EVERYWHERE stirring hearts- even at Build a Bear! :)

I pray you feel better soon!!

jeanne said...

Pamela, this is a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.
Hugs, Jeanne

Renee said...

When jealousy gets a toe-hold in my life, it steals all my joy. Thanks for sharing this challenge. Blessings!

Nikki said...

beautiful story with a powerful message. my favorite kind ;)

thank you so much for sharing.
All for Him,

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Pamela, This is beautiful and filled with truth from His Word. I needed this today, and you and your writing are a great blessing.
Love and prayers,

Rebecca said...

Well, you've had an experience I've never had - (Build-a-Bear). The lesson is true, too. Thanks for the warning.

Quilting Yai Yai said...

Dear Pamela,
Your post blessed my heart. It was beautifully said.
Thanks again for stopping by my blog.
Hugs, Deborah

Karen said...

Oh, what beautiful hair Morgan has! I know she had a great time!

Jan said...

Oh what a delightful post,your beautiful day with your precious GD, and also the powerful reminder about being content with our own lot.

Sarah (Nikki) said...

Aww. Morgan is adorable. I loved taking my girls to build a bear. The concept is very cool. But so much cooler are your words about true Godly friendship. Thanks for this Pamela

Cindy Adkins said...

Oh wow, Morgan is gorgeous!!! I am in the midst of writing a new book, and guess what the last chapter was about? It was about making a list of blessings and not worrying about what others have!!! Oh gosh, my friend, we really think alike!!! Have a great weekend.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hi Pamela, first thanks so much for your visit today and for letting me know that you enjoy my blog. That means a lot to me.

Your post is wonderful, as yours always are. How fun for you guys to go and make a special bear together!

I am struggling with the other side of this subject...some people became jealous of me, especially because of my blog. I am just doing what I feel God is telling me to do with it, and I try to be very positive.

It takes me forever to figure out what is wrong, but when I do, I end up withdrawing from the relationship because they bring me down. Any advice on how to handle things like that in a better way? I would love to know what you think.

Kathy M.

ღ soraya ღ said...

nice post thanks for sharing...blessings...

Making Memories 1999 said...

Challenging words! Thank you!!

Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke said...

Such a needed topic! Thanks for blogging about this!
We do get all kinds of feelings and people don't know what to do with them. The best way (that I know) to deal with envy is honest prayer. God can transform our negative feelings into something beautiful. If we just let him.
BLESSINGS to you and yours!

Renee said...

How fun o be able to go with your granddaughter to build a bear...I must admit that this week I had a bit of jealousy over the healing I have seen in someone close to me and how mine is lagging right now...hmmmm God lovingly reminded me today through your words that I need to keep my focus on God..not my circumstances. Bless you today.

Ross said...

What a fantastic post you have written here. It causes one to think. We do live in a society where jealousy of talents, social status, and a bunch of other things surround us. We need to work on listening to God!

Nancy said...

What a great analogy between build a bear and our hearts...God wants to change our hearts but we do have to cooperate....

Thank you so much for this very insightful post...Lots to ponder on this one...

I love taking my granddaughter to build a bear too...It's so much fun to do things like this together...

Charlotte said...

Every time I see one of these Build a Bear stores I find myself wanting to build one. I can imagine how much fun it is for kids. It's great when these cute little cuddly animals can teach the children good lessons. Thank you for sharing this one.

Karla said...

That was a beautiful post. Definitely one to reflect on. Looks like a very sweet trip to Build-a-Bear. :)

I wanted to thank you for following me. :) have you seen my new place?? I hope you'll follow me there, stop by when you get a chance. Its very cute. :)

I'm your newest follower. :)

Rina Peru said...

These are all so true, Pamela. And I wouldn't be honest if I don't say that I've had my own struggles with envy (mainly due to my physical suffering and limitations). I also wrote a while back identifying envy as the culprit in one's joylessness and that by looking so closely with the blessings of others, we miss appreciating God's blessings to us.

Thank you for writing about it.

Sharon said...

A wonderful post, Pamela. And a necessary word for all of us to hear. I think it's good to do a "heart checkup" on a regular basis. That old enemy of ours sneaks in there so often, sometimes without us even realizing it. Jealousy is a wily creature - and it wreaks the worst havoc when it enters the heart of a believer.

Disunity is one of Satan's best arrows.

I agree with your words: "There is nothing more satisfying than focusing on someone else." Absolutely!

And when we focus on THE Someone else - our dear Lord - we can't help but cheer for ANY good thing that happens in the Kingdom of God. No matter which vessel God chose to use, or how or when.


Melanie N. Brasher said...

Thank you for this timely post! It's so easy to lose sight of the blessings He's given us, isn't it? And there is so much joy in lifting others up {Phil. 2 comes to mind}.

Love visiting here. :)

Maggie Ann said...

I have always enjoyed the blessings of Phil. 4:8 what riches and how extensive they are....far reaching & real! Yes, friends are special and often over the years...come and go. All the more reason to be careful what is in our heart and be loving.

DoleValleyGirl said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post and thank you for it as it really blessed me this morning. Jealousy is a destructive monster and the tool of the enemy of our souls, but the fruits of the spirit cause us to do just what you said, they take our eyes off ourselves!

Blessings to you! ~Lisa

Maggie Ann said...

forgot to say..about the Sue Thomas hearing dog thing...maybe her dog would hear the phone and clue her to it to receive text messaging? Her pc has a special set up like that...but I might be mistaken about the phone. Maybe she would keep it set on vibrate....that makes more sense. =)

The Dickinsons said...

So sweet! Glad you get to have Morgan to help these days without your RB PASS as FAST as possible! =)

Phillip often travels a week at a time to visit our other churches in Colombia. My kids take turns sleeping with me every night and truly do help my lonely heart! =)

Fun following each other on Pinterest. =)

Love ya! You are touching lots of lives for Jesus with your blog, keep up the good work! =)

Shoregirl said...

I want to be a "build-a-bear" kind of friend too! Sweet post!

Susan said...

Thanks again for blesssing me once again. I am amazed how God uses his people! Great visuals!