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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