What is the green-eyed monster? Is it something that all people with green eyes (such as myself) suffer from? Where did this green-eyed monster come from? Well, way, way back the famous playwright William Shakespeare coined the phrase green-eyed monster in his famous play Othello. He also used the phrase green sickness in his play Anthony and Cleopatra. And this phrase became forever famously identified to represent envy and jealousy. He envisioned that jealousy and envy were similar to a disease that poisons us, just as some wounds that become infected ooze out green pus. Not a very good visual image is it? Wow! It turns my stomach just thinking about it. And, perhaps I should have put a disclaimer before I presented that visual image – sorry!Do you suffer within from this green-eyed monster? I think that each one of us, at some point or another, suffer from this monster. I know that I sure have, and it’s sad to say that I’ve suffered from this monster on more than one occasion. Looking back over these instances I can clearly see how each and every time I’ve allowed myself to wallow in the mud, I’ve poisoned myself. Also, I am sure that I poisoned everyone else around me at the same time.
I’m going to share one instance of when the green-eyed monster had a particularity vicious grip on my life – and believe me, I am not proud of this. Back in my first marriage, the biological clock was ticking, and like so many women in the Bible, I wanted to have a baby. That started a long, and painful descent into what would be a nine year battle with the green-eyed monster. As each month passed by and I had not conceived this baby that my heart and soul longed for; my descent into the pit grew deeper and deeper. So many women around me were getting pregnant, and at first I celebrated with them, so very sure that the same would happen to me next month. But as time dragged on, all I could see was that while others were getting pregnant, I was barren. It seemed like everywhere I looked I saw women with swollen bellies filled with babies, and mine was flat and empty. Even women who didn’t want children were getting pregnant. I felt like I was the only one who couldn’t conceive. I cried out to God, over and over again for a baby. I could no longer attend baby showers, and I always had an excuse why I could not come. There was no way I could sit there and be excited for another woman who was having a baby. It just hurt too much. I also had a very difficult time even congratulating another woman when she announced that she was pregnant. I certainly had a big case of the “why me” syndrome. There were times that I tried to talk with others about the situation and all I got from them was platitudes such as: “your time will come.” Those platitudes did not help in the least, and I could see that I made them uncomfortable just by talking about my desire to become a mother. I took this hurt into isolation, and I know that I treated others unfairly during the process.
Looking back over that incident, and others that were not quite as extreme, causes me to understand just how easy it is for us to be sucked into the pit. I think that Shakespeare had it right. Jealousy and envy are indeed a disease that poisons our very soul. The longer we let this disease fester within us we allow the enemy a strong foothold into our heart, mind, and soul. That’s a separation from God and all his goodness.
To remain healthy, we have to look to God, we must focus on Him, on His grace, on His mercy, on what He wants for our lives. We must focus on our relationship with Him. We must let Him decide the course of our lives, for He truly knows the best for us. When we allow Him to direct and guide us through each and every moment, fully trusting Him, we will experience His special blessings that He’s reserved only for us. When we are present with Him, focusing on Him, we will find that there’s no room for jealousy and envy. We realize that the blessings that He’s bestowed on others are His gift to them.
I don’t know about you, but I love gifts. I get excited when someone gives me a big (or even small) shiny wrapped package. I get to open the package and be delighted about the special gift that was picked out just for me. I am thinking that others probably feel the same way. So likewise when God gives a blessing (gift) to others, we should rightfully celebrate those blessings without any feeling of jealousy or envy. I think that’s the way God wants it to be, so that’s the way I want it to be also.