Do you see this?
This is my husbands solution to my costume jewelry storage. What you see here is only my necklaces and a few bracelets. Everything else - rings, broaches, bracelets, earrings and anything of real value - are in a stand up jewelry armoire. But that armoire was no match for my necklace collection. So it hangs in my tiny little "water closet" across from the toilet on a double towel bar. The hooks are intended for shower curtains so they slide easily from side to side. With this arrangement, I can see all of my inventory and quickly (sometimes) decide what piece will best compliment my attire for the day.
Now I know, of the 6 of you who normally read my blog, some of you will be appalled at my obsession and the amount of money I have probably spent to amass this collection. And some of you are amazed at this stroke of brilliance and can't wait to install your own. And you didn't even have to troll Pinterest all afternoon for the idea! I, myself, am a little embarrassed to let my addiction out of the "water closet", but I promise I have a tie-in.
The pastor of the church I attend spoke today on jealousy. He gave a biblical definition of "jealous" as "to have a strong desire". I decided to look it up on dictionary.com and found 6 definitions. I won't bore you with all of them here, but I did find it interesting that 3 of the 6 had to do with "rivalry". Those are the definitions that pierce my heart. Insecurity, comparison - how I struggle with these.
As I listened to the sermon, I kept thinking of the word pride. I believe it's so closely related to jealousy. I used dictionary.com again to look up "pride". The first definition - "a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority..." I struggle more with low self-esteem that I do an inflated sense of importance, so if I stopped right there, I might be able to get away with thinking that pride was not an issue for me. (Which I guess is, in itself, prideful). But then I read definition number 3 - "a...sense of what is due to oneself or one's position or character...". Whew. This is where Ricky Ricardo would say, I got some "splainin" to do. The most convicting part of today's sermon for me was when Pastor Ross spoke of jealousy this way: "At the end of the day, it's not about me and another person. It's that I believe God owes me." That sounds like a direct link between jealousy and pride by definition number 3! When I am jealous of someone else's money, I am - in essence - believing that God owes me that money! And when I am envious of someone else's job, I am believing that God owes me that job! How arrogant of me. How prideful.
Psalm 73:6 says, "They wear pride like a jeweled necklace and clothe themselves with cruelty." NLT THIS made me think of my jewelry collection. When I sit in jealousy, when I indulge in comparison I think no one can see it. I think of it as a secret sin. I mistakenly believe that no one can see the darkness of my heart. But in truth, I wear those attitudes like I would wear the red beads in the picture above. I wear them CLOSE to my heart, but they are right out front for all to see. Because when I wear that pride, I am choosing not to love. And it's not fooling anyone. The verse takes it even further. Not only am I not loving. I am being cruel. That's the last thing I want to be.
Today I'm coming out of the "water closet" and into the prayer closet. I'm seeking God's forgiveness for pride, jealousy and comparison. I'm asking him to kill those things in me and replace them with true humility, love and joy. Please pray for me in this. What secret sin do you need to bring into the prayer closet? Comment below. I would love the opportunity to pray for you.