Under A Dark Tree Called Envy

Under A Dark Tree Called Envy

 

Under the dark shadow of a tree called envy

distorted all things will appear

lines and contours grotesquely twisted

the horizon stands up on its ear

 

The world and reality bent out of shape

by a heart so damaged it just can’t see straight

pride greed and malice companions these three

cling tightly to envy like roots to a tree

 

And roots they are of the foulest kind

nourishing self til they make it divine

 

St. Paul named himself Wretched and pled for release

from the body of death and the sin that won’t cease

 

And thanked with his next breath our God great and good

Who through Christ and His cross cut the root where it stood

Planting His Spirit down deep in its place

giving it new life and a wellspring of grace

 

Let another tree grow instead God said

casting light not a shadow ‘ore all

one whose leaves never wither

nor dry up and fall

bearing fruit we call love

offered joyfully to all

 

Envy= a painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage, to begrudge.


. . .Love envies not
1 Corinthians 13: 4

 

I’ve been thinking recently about the damaging emotions that suck the love and joy from our lives.

Maybe you’ve seen quotes and graphics on FB and Pinterest with things like ‘Comparison is a thief’.
It’s true, but the deeper problem is rooted in our hearts.

It began in the garden and has been part of man’s experience ever since.
We want more.
Always.

We want what others have.  
Their job, their hair, their money, their spouse.
The list is endless.

But, our faith should give us respite from the old cycle.

It should convince our minds that God is a generous and wise giver.
We’re counseled “Be content with such things as you have.”

I’ve experienced envy, as you can tell from the poem!
It’s not pretty.

It calls up the most evil of feelings and will ultimately find it’s way to what you say because ‘out of the abundance of the heart the mouth WILL SPEAK’.

Yuck.

I wrote the definition of envy on a post-it note and tucked it in my Bible so that painful or resentful awareness would be a cue to me that I was not being controlled by the Spirit and not walking in love.

It’s brought me joy and a deeper fellowship as I LEAN INTO GOD when I feel that old painful resentment.

Until we escape these bodies we are going to have to cope with temptation!

Make a plan for yourself!!!
How are you going to break the cycle of temptation and sin that leads to broken fellowship and diminished joy in your life?

 

What dark Gremlins stalk your heart and lurk in your thoughts?
How can you rebuff their efforts?

Faith isn’t a feeling.
It’s a deep conviction, a belief, that God has told us the truth.
What truth has God shared that relates to your Gremlins?

 

And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.
John 8:32

 

If you struggle but don’t know where to find truth that will build your faith and help you battle the Gremlins—leave a comment and I’ll respond with some truth to help you 😉

We all struggle with sin, but God wants us to walk in the light not live in the shadows.

 

 

Photo by Ales Krivec https://unsplash.com

24 Comments on “Under A Dark Tree Called Envy

  1. Awesome post. Life is a struggle in one way or another from the day we are born until our last breath. Along this path, I was tapped on the shoulder by Christ, he said – I choose you. This has kept me going when otherwise I’d have fallen and gave up.

    • Thanks John and Amen.
      Paul said, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. . . one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
      Keep on keeping’ on 😉

  2. I did not know it until I read this story or maybe I did and refused to recognize the truth. I have been envious of others and I benevolent I will write me a note and stick it in my pocket. Asking with some scripture. Kelly you have preached one of the most enlightening sermons I hand read in a while. The poem opened my heart up. I want to reblog this on my site if you don’t mind.

    Joy to you

  3. Reblogged this on realchange4u and commented:
    Walking in the light just a little more thanks to my friend Kelly. This is her story she shared on her blog. Take a look at Kelly’s blog she is a dynamic woman of God with life changing wisdom.

  4. very good – your words are truly a blessing – thank you for sharing! God bless

  5. Kelly, gently given truth. As we continue on this journey, it’s so important to keep our focus on the One who gives life; on relationships that matter; on the Spirit who helps us determine where our thoughts and hearts need to be. It’s all about attention and navigation. We drift off the path, but if we pay attention, we’re able to navigate right back to it, moving forward again.

  6. “It’s all about attention and navigation.” So true Susan 😉 I love that in Jesus we can move forward again, and again, and again.

  7. I need to read this, Kelly. I’ve been struggling with envy of other moms with seemingly thriving, ‘normal’ families since I’ve been given a challenge of two very full-on boys, one of which has special needs (autism). I really need God to deal with/cleanse the bitterness that’s grown up in my heart…

  8. I love that you recognize your boys are a gift—even though they’re a challenge 😉 God will use that challenge to grow your walk with Him. Raising our kids unearths expectations we didn’t know we had. Could they be at the heart of your disappointment and frustration? Hang on to this: He that began a good work in you will complete it.

  9. This is really well done post. I cannot do poetry and admire this gift God has given you.
    Society is dragged down so much through envy, and I have to remind myself again, and again to not get caught up in the positions and possessions of others.
    Thank you for sharing this vivid reminder.
    ~Carl~

    • True that Carl!
      You’d think we’d relish uniqueness, but we remain perpetual 7th graders yearning to have and be what those around us are and possess. That’s not God’s best for us. Faith reminds us that if we walk with God, we’ll have God’s best. Uniquely designed and built for us as individuals 😉

  10. Great poem giving us a picture of the ugliness of sin and squelch of envy that can only be rescued by the His loving grip of grace!

    “And thanked with his next breath our God great and good

    Who through Christ and His cross cut the root where it stood

    Planting His Spirit down deep in its place

    giving it new life and a wellspring of grace.”

    Your post makes me think about the exhortation from Paul in 2 Cor. 10: 4-5:
    “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

    I envision taking my thoughts of envy and throwing a big, rugged lasso around them, yanking on those ropes, cutting it off at the perpetual life source!

    Along with this, like you mentioned {John 8:32}, dwelling on truth…”whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” It’s a constant choice isn’t it, as to which one we will feed?

    Daily, I have to make the choice to saturated myself with His Word of truth…. read it, write it out, listen to it, sing it, memorize it, speak it, exercise to it, sew it on a pillow! Whatever it takes!

    So glad He has given us the power of His Holy Spirit to live in victory over the flesh. So glad that He is faithful and just to cleanse us from all unrighteousness!

    • And we are ‘accepted in the Beloved’.
      You’re right, we do have a choice about our thoughts—what we dwell on. The best choice is to dwell on Jesus, to meditate on His word, to have conversations with the Holy Spirit throughout the day, just not out loud at Trader Joe’s or Home Depot ;).
      How did your Baker pieces turn out? I’m trying a chalk paint finish as soon as we get this remodel mess finished.

  11. Hahaha…well, talking out loud to yourself in TJ’s or HD would definitely make an impact!

    The chalk paint gave the pieces new life which is always a good thing. If you haven’t used that kind of paint before, I would recommend getting the feel/process by painting a picture frame, candle stick, moulding… something of that sort first before the actual piece. It’s much more fun than regular latex paint. Another paint I recently tried is Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint and that is pretty incredible stuff too. Oh, so many projects so little time!

    PS: I can sympathize with your remodel adventure! There is nothing like ripped up flooring, impassible, dust ridden hallways, air compressors, and strange men in your home to give a person {and a marriage} the true test of patience! I’m sure it will be beautiful…when it is finished!

  12. from drought to wellspring .. has been my personal experience these last few weeks. oh to be in His embrace while experiencing rivers of life. 🙂

  13. Did you forget we’re always in His embrace? The drought is just the feeling we have when we lose the awareness of His arms around us 😉 Underneath are the everlasting arms—always.

    • i never forgot. and yet, in personal trauma sometimes a time of drought is a reality. from drought to wellspring … that’s my present reality.

      • It happens to all of us. It does—and then blissfully it stops, like rain that fizzles out and wind that grows still. I’m praying for you and waiting with you for the day when you feel the refreshment you’re hoping for. Gobs of love.

      • duh 😉 Can you tell my reading comprehension declines rapidly after 8:00 PM? Glad to hear you’re in the wellspring phase.

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