Better Than Me? I Envy No More

By He Xin

What Caused My Mild Anxiety?

In one evening, the breeze gently blew to the face, and made people feel cozy. Around a sparkling lake with several geese singing, there were many flowers among the grasses, and occasionally a few butterflies would gently touch the blooming flowers. Tourists around were all praising the beautiful scenery incessantly.

But at this moment, Nair had no heart to appreciate the scenery. While she was in her reminiscence, someone tapped hard on her shoulder, and she was suddenly brought back to reality She turned around and saw her long-lost friend Yuan Li. Nair hurriedly wiped away her tears, afraid her friend would see them, but how could Yuan Li not notice Nair’s obvious behavior? But Yuan Li asked nothing. After greetings, she said: “How about going to the gazebo and take a rest there?” Nair nodded. Yuan Li happily told Nair all the things that happened to her, but Nair only smiled slightly while listening to her stories. Afterward, Nair’s smile disappeared. Yuan Li followed her gaze and saw someone in royal blue admiring the scenery at the opposite. Yuan Li touched Nair’s arm and asked: “What is going on Nair? Who is she? Were you sad because of her just now on the bridge?” Nair at first did not want to open her heart, but Yuan Li was being so sincere, Nair told her that girl was her table-mate Mary, who was a transferred student. Before she came to Nair’s class, Nair was always the best in class, excelling in almost every category, and teachers and classmates all liked her. No matter where she went, everyone would look at her in admiration and with envy. She felt like a princess with a bright future lying ahead.

But (Nair’s started to look a bit down), Mary broke it all on her arrival. Mary’s studies, backgrounds and other aspects were all better than Nair, and teachers and classmates instead started to like Mary more. Nair felt uncomfortable and miserable because of envy, she thought that everyone no longer liked her because of Mary. Nair worked hard wanting to surpass Mary, but she was always the loser. Gradually, her envy grew and made her dislike Mary, even hate her, and wish not to see her at any time. Envy tortured Nair to be physically and mentally exhausted, she often wondered why God gave the best to Mary, but not to her. As a Christian, Nair knew she should not complain about God, should not be jealous of others, but she couldn’t put it into practice. From the day she became envious of Mary, Nair lost her smile and lived painfully, having no idea of what to do. Speaking of that, Nair was already crying sadly. Yuan Li patted on her back to comfort her.

Beautiful Smile Bloomed for the First Time

Later, Yuan Li said: “Nair, I can feel your pain, but as Christians, we all know that what God creates is good. We need to learn how to properly treat others and ourselves, and should not complain about God and envious of others. God said: ‘The functions are not the same. There is one body. Each does his duty, each in his place and doing his very best—for each spark there is one flash of light—and seeking maturity in life. Thus will I be satisfied.’ ‘What does God orchestrate these things for? It is not to reveal your shortcomings or to expose you; exposing you is not the end goal. The end goal is to perfect you and save you. How does God do that? Firstly, He makes you aware of your own corrupt disposition, of your nature and essence, your shortcomings, and what you lack. Only by understanding these things in your heart can you pursue the truth and gradually cast off your corrupt disposition. … God works in every single person, and no matter what His method is, what kind of people, things and matters He makes use of to do service, or what kind of tone His words have, He only has one end goal: saving you. Saving you means transforming you, so how could you not suffer a bit? You’re going to have to suffer. This suffering can involve many things. Sometimes God raises up the people, matters, and things around you to expose you, to allow you to know yourself, or else He directly deals with you, prunes you, and exposes you. Just like someone on an operating table–you have to undergo some pain for a good outcome. If every time God prunes and deals with you and every time He raises up people, matters, and things, it stirs up your feelings and gives you a boost, then experiencing it this way is correct, and you will have stature and will enter into the reality of the truth.

Nair, we are all created by God and given different talents, everyone has their own functions and missions. We need to submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements, and do what we should do. You’re placed in this situation to experience, this contains God’s good will. God arranged people who are better than us around us, first to give us space to grow so that we can learn from others’ strengths to remedy our weaknesses, second to reveal our corrupt disposition: We’re envious of others’ strengths, this behavior shows our lack of normal humanity. When we are struggling in pain, we’ll realize that Satan has corrupted us so deeply; this is a good opportunity for us to know ourselves and get rid of our corrupt disposition. Nair, let’s pray more often to God. I believe God will lead us in our experiences, let us understand the truth and overcome our envy. Actually, God has also given us many things, we should learn to be content.”

After hearing what Yuan Li said, Nair was left in deep thoughts: “It is true that God has given me a lot, though I’m not so excellent as Mary, I still understand somewhat of the situation. God created me and my existence has value and meaning. Just like what Yuan Li said, I should not be too ambitious and need to learn to be content.”

With that in mind, Nair smiled again and said happily to Yuan Li: “Thank you so much Yuan Li. Now I know God’s creation of me is meaningful, the situation arranged by God today is to save me, I should not escape but should face it. Every time when I’m envious, I should pray more to God, and not let envy take over me.”

With the sun setting, the sky started to get darker. They bid farewell and agreed to meet at Yuan Li’s house next Friday. After the gathering, Nair walked home cheerfully. There were few people on her way back and the cold wind was even blowing, but Nair did not feel cold at all because her heart was warm. She found a way to walk out of the misery and her envy of others!

Trace of Anxiety Still Remains in Heart

The next day, Nair woke up early. She came before God and prayed to God sincerely. Afterward, Nair crooned her way to school. Her classmates were surprised to see her smile, Nair smiled at them and did not say a word. A while later, Mary came into the classroom, some classmates ran to her and asked her to help them with some math questions. Nair’s quiet heart became disturbed and she became envious again. Nair realized she was wrong and quickly prayed to God silently, wishing God could protect her heart and thoughts. After praying, Nair felt her heart calmed down. A moment later, the teacher came in and greeted Mary warmly but gave Nair an impatient look. Nair felt upset, she prayed silently to let God quiet her heart. In class, when the teacher asked questions, Mary answered them actively, but Nair could not quite understand them. During the art and craft lesson, Mary made nice crafts but Nair’s was horrible. Classmates were looking at Nair with a puzzled look, which made Nair feel more awkward.

Finally, a day of lessons was over and Nair quickly ran back home. At home, Nair could not hold her tears anymore and cried out. Nair was clueless: Why couldn’t she break free from envy after having tried so hard to pray to and rely on God? Nair said in her prayer: “God, envy always happens to me, and I do not know how to practice. O God, what can I do? Why am I firmly gripped by envy? How can I break free from the bondage of envy? O God….’’

Nair hoped the next Friday would come faster, she expected Yuan Li to fellowship with her.

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