Monday, October 17, 2011

The Green-Eyed Monster

I’m sure we’ve all been there.

It usually happens right after we’ve heard some awesome news about another writer who hasn’t been working as long as us…

Or maybe another writer who has  time to belt out 2000 words or more a day

Or someone who has just obtained the agent of OUR dreams

Or won OUR award

And then, jealousy or envy grabs at our otherwise benevolent natures…right?

Well, with every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

We either:

Get angry (how dare that person get ……)

Get sad (I’ll never be published; win that award; find an agent… I'm just not good enough)

Get even (spread slander, think bad thoughts about the person, even hold back your encouragement to them)

But – those responses will not get us anywhere.

We’re human. We respond. But because we have the uniqueness of God’s Spirit living in us, we do not have to ‘live’ in that initial response. God can change our responses. He’s given us NEW hearts.

How can we battle the green-eyed monster?

1. Count Our Blessings – what DO we have? What HAVE we done? Even if you’ve only been writing for 1 week – think about what you’ve accomplished in that time.

2. Remember that you were knitted by God for a specific purposeCelebrate YOU
You are not an accident. God designed you for His glory in His moment. Only YOU can write the story He’s called you to write. He braided that store into the fiber of our souls when he formed us in our mother’s wombs. Yep, it was THAT special to Him. YOU are that special to Him – and He has a plan for YOU and your stories.

3. Cultivate a heart of contentment – Keep your eyes on the prize, instead of on other people’s prizes. Most importantly, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus – who loves us with an everlasting love. Understanding God holds us helps us become patient (or more patient). Focusing on what ‘might have been’ only makes us miss out on the ‘now’.

4. Hindsight with a purpose – take a look at how far you’ve come and how far God’s brought you. Our eyes should only focus on other people to 'serve' them and learn from them, not to compare ourselves to them. When we see our own writing path through the months or years, we can see our growth. If you don't believe me - go read your very first manuscript ;-)

5. Remember that there is a PERFECT moment – As you are writing your novels, don’t forget that God is writing your story. In fact, it’s already written – and He’s designed the perfect moment to bring out the dreams HE dreams for you. Resting in His love is hard, especially when we want to help along the process, but “He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it…”

If you need more encouragement against jealousy, check out this great post at Seekerville -

Psalm 139: 13-16

13- For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14- I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15- My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

16-Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Photos courtesy of:


Sarah Forgrave said...

Wow, what a great post, Pepper! This plagues us all at some point, and you've given very wise counsel. Love! :)

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Wonderful post, Pepper! So applicable. I admit, I've experienced each of those emotions you mentioned above. :) I get my thoughts turned back to the Lord, but it sometimes takes some time.
One thing that helps me is to remember to keep my thoughts on what is true. Sometimes this boils down to the simple truth that God has given ME this story. He is in control and will enable me to write the story He's given me, if I trust Him.

Thanks for a great, encouraging post today.

Pepper said...

Thanks Sarah.
I needed the reminder myself last week so I thought it would be a good post :-)

Pepper said...

GOOD reminder. Keep our thoughts on the Lord!
How many problems would that simple rule fix? :-)

Beth K. Vogt said...

Good morning, Pepper.
Such a good post.
And I have to echo Jeanne's thoughts. (I'm blessed to live near Jeanne and meet with Jeanne -- so I get a wonderful dose of Jeanne's insights on a regular basis!)
For me, it's all about "focus."
Am I focusing on someone else's story or my story--and by that I mean "life story," not work-in-progress.
The truth is--I have my story to live (and to write) and everyone else has their stories.
And when someone else succeeds, I have a choice: celebrate with them and for them -- or sulk.
It's a choice.
And that's the truth.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Needed...oh SO needed b/c we all live through it at one stage or another. I try really hard to fight through it.
~ Wendy

Pepper said...

Amen, Beth.
Because of the Holy Spirit living in us- we DO have a choice.

Pepper said...

Oh Wendy,
don't we ALL
and you are such an encourager, though. It just flows from you. I saw that at ACFW even more by the way you encouraged others :-)

Julia M. Reffner said...


I LOVE how God orders these posts. Its so neat when I look at the weeks posts and it seems like God links them together.

Oh, I so love Beth's focus thoughts on our lifestory.

Thanks so much for the Scripture at the end from Psalm 139. I think I needed to hear that today for a different reason.

Joanne Sher said...

Have SO been there, Pepper! Great post, as usual. I've definitely done all the icky stuff. Thanks for the reminder to handle it the RIGHT way. God's way. GOD'S timing.

Casey said...

That picture is seriously the cutest thing ever. ;)

What a great post Pepper, the Green Eyed Monster is something we all struggle with isn't it?? I've got to fight it constantly it seems, but when I focus on what God is doing for me, it makes it easier to ignore that green goop and be thankful for what I've been given. :)

Jeanette Levellie said...

This must be in the air--I posted on it at my blog today. Only I spoke about how to deal with people who are jealous of you.

Thanks for your wisdom, Pepper.

Pepper said...

Thanks Julia. I thought it was pretty cool how the week worked out too.
Another page in God's story of our lives ;-)

Pepper said...

Hey Joanne,
How'd I do for shorter ;-)
Even with my wounded hand it was long :-)

Pepper said...

hey Case,
spending time with you would make it hard for me to imagine you getting all green-eyed. You're such an encourager ;-)

But, we're all human too, eh? Snore and all :-)

Pepper said...

Nice post, Jeanette. A good way to talk about the flip side of this one

Jennifer K. Hale said...

Great post, Pepper! Thanks for the reminder. The green-eyed monster likes to rear his ugly head at me from time to time and fill me with discouragement. Over this past few months I've been learning how to deal with it, and I'm grateful for this reminder!

Melanie Dickerson said...

This is a great post, Pepper. I have fought this ugly monster many times in the last 8 and a half years since I started writing, and the battle doesn't stop when you get published, either! I'm sorry to say. I hate jealousy. It is so painful to feel, and equally painful when it's directed at you. When I realize it's rearing its ugly head in me, I try to 1) Repent, 2) Realize I don't need to compare myself to other people, and 3) Pray for God to bless that person.

Recently I experienced someone I thought of as a very good friend treating me with great hostility. I couldn't figure out what I had done to this person to make them so mad at me. But it seemed pretty obvious, after a while, that she was experiencing jealousy and was taking it out on me in a big way! Wow, I couldn't believe she was jealous of ME! But then, yes I could believe it. So I know I need to pray for her, but I have to admit, it is hard!

Pepper said...

Oh, Melanie that would be a new experience for me...having someone be jealous of ME. It had to have been weird to know how to handle it to, except for the usual ways God calls us to handle any type of conflict- the way you already are. Through prayer and kindness.

I can't help but want to celebrate with you over all the wonderful things God has done in your writing over the past year. It's been an honor to 'witness' it happen. :)

Pepper said...

Jennifer, soooo understand! Hopefully we can encourage each other as we journey along

AimeeLSalter said...

So timely, and wise, and TRUE! Thank you!

And it appears there's a bit of a theme in a bunch of Christ-following blogs today, not an accident I think. Check out also:

Anne Riley:

Mary Vee Writer said...

Read this a day late, probably a dollar short-too :)
All has been said...this was a heart touching post.
Thanks, Pepper.

Naomi Rawlings said...

What a great post, Pepper. Thanks for the reminder.

When I find myself really struggling with jealousy or bitterness, I list out all the things in Philippians 4:8. You know, the verse that goes "Whatsoever things are honest, true, just, pure, etc." Then I think of something honest, true, just, pure, etc. to about that person and list out all eight things. So when I find myself thinking jealous or bitter thoughts, I read my list, pray for them, and think about all the things I have to be grateful for. It hasn't failed me yet, but I admit it's a little involved.

As far as someone being jealous of me . . . well, maybe one day I'll be as cool as Melanie, that will happen, and I'll need to deal with the opposite end of things. But then, knowing me, that's not likely to happen. Um, ever. LOL!

Mary Vee Writer said...

My bad...I thought I was reading this a day late, but this is really today's post!!.....I think I need chocolate...good grief.

I have been smitten by the jealousy monster, too. But as time goes by, I have been able to see how much fun it is to see others succeed. God lets all His kids succeed in their own way. He's so good to us.

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Thank you for this post, Pepper, and the good advice. Also, it's nice to know that I'm not the only one that gets bitten by the monster here and there. I love that God can help us turn those worldly emotions that might not be so pretty into something productive if we'll let Him.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

This is such a great post. No one is immune from the little green monster, but your steps are just the right formula for conquering that green thing. I'm bookmarking this one!

Pepper said...

Wow, Aimee...
a Theme!
Maybe God's trying to get His kids attention :-)

Pepper said...

Those verses from Phillipians are a few of my favorites!! Good stuff.

And everyone wants to be cool like Melanie! ;-)

Pepper said...

Oh Mary,
You're never too late! You arrive right on time ;-)

Pepper said...

Oh Cindy,
You are NOT alone, for sure. It's human nature to struggle with comparisons.

Thanks be to Jesus, that God doesn't compare us to His own perfectness anymore, because we're covered by Christ's cloak of righteousness!
Whew, I'm glad for that. In reality, we have no room for comparisons ;-)

Pepper said...

Thanks, Sherrinda. It helps to have other people who understand and can encourage us along the way though, doesn't it?

Tracy Krauss said...

Such sage advice! :) (And very true ...)