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Recovering Envyholic Avoiding Selfish Ambitions / Part Two

I have the hardest time identifying what envy looks like in the flesh. Here's what I found in chapters two and three.

If you are envious and have selfish ambitions, you will have the attitude of knowing more than others about what faith in Christ is. AKA, partiality. You will automatically decide who is worthy of having a personal walk with the Lord.

-Partial means you look at someone and see their status of wealth and health. At a glance, you will decide if that particular person is a smoker, sun worshiper, owns a yacht, or lives in a trailer park. 

-If you are partial, you will accommodate the person however you saw him. You won't genuinely give him the best chair in the house if they are a smoker, you might prefer they sit on the rocker on your front porch instead of in your recliner. Or, if they look and smell rich, you will feel bad to have them sit even in your recliner. They, in your mind, need white, pristine surroundings.

-A person that is partial, will also be a person that has to pass judgement about a lot if things in life. There will be a lack of mercy and compassion. You are apt to look at something and quickly make some kind of assumption, not necessarily an accurate one.

-A person that is not genuine about their faith in action will say they love their neighbor but not really do anything to show that love or they might change their mind about what is the right action, depending on the circumstance or who might be watching. It will be an action that is energized more by who is noticing, rather than a free flowing action from the freedom of living every moment for our Saviour and sharing that experience because you just can't help yourself.

-If you are alive in Christ, you will get your hands dirty, because you are involved. You are not idle. Something alive, must grow, thrive, and green up.


I'd like to think I'm not partial, yet I don't find it easy or natural to walk up to the unlovely and be a friend. I find it difficult to look beyond the dirt and grime and rags of the homeless person to the heart of the person. I still have to hold my nose to keep from gagging when I encounter the bad smells that go along with these situations. Yet, the person that does this, shows Jesus' love out loud with out even using words. My husband, doesn't talk about spiritual things easily, but he can hold a barf bag for a patient and clean up messes that makes most people writhe in disgust. This, to me is showing Christ in bigger ways than me and my many words and thoughts of what James meant in these chapters. 


The tongue cannot be tamed... This I know from experience as well as scripture.  I was in the beginning stages of studying this and had a conversation with a friend. It went something like this. 

She said, "I read your blog," at which point I interrupted and said something to try to switch the subject, I don't know what it was I said, I just remember being afraid to hear what she thought of my blog. Why? I don't know. She probably wasn't even going to say anything more. When she could get a word in edgewise, she named another blog she enjoys reading. My response was stinky. I said something like, "I don't like her writing so much. She's tends to go on and on. I wish she would be quiet already." Then, I promptly felt horrible and said, "I'm sure that's what people say about me too though."  Wow! I thought, where did all this come from? Is this me? A self righteous- miss- goody- two- shoes?  I went home feeling awful. And then, God went to work on me about why I said those things and felt those awful feelings. It was revealed as envy and selfish ambitions. I felt stupid doing it, but texted my friend an apology and asked the Lord to forgive me. And then, I went and read aforementioned blog of which I spoke negatively, and found I liked it. Very much. 

And then, I studied chapter three pretty thoroughly and was convicted of a critical spirit and of envy in my heart, and of why, which was selfish ambitions. Self ambitions happen when I think I know the right way and if someone doesn't agree with me or look at things the same way as I do, I tend to think critical thoughts about them.

I wrote in my notebook, after reading the first verses on teaching, "You really should be careful if you teach. When you open your mouth to say something strong, or use your pen to write down thoughts you feel you should share, you will be held responsible for both." (Just an explanation, I am sharing this with you not because it's easy. I truly do not enjoy exposing my heart so bluntly. I am doing this study to share what God does in our hearts sometimes. Other than that, I don't know why. But I don't think its selfish ambition.) I pray someone will be challenged to go deeper with our Lord.

Criticism is like a rudder, a little part that steers a great big ship. One small amount of criticism can dash a person's hopes, dreams, and goals. It can steer whole conversations straight into a proverbial wind storm. It also is like a little salt added to fresh water. Imagine being desperately thirsty and gulping down big gulps of water but midway through, you discover a salty taste. So disheartening.

We criticize, when we think we have real wisdom. A truly wise person though, will lead a good life by doing deeds done in humility. Humility isn't wordy and loud. If you are loud and trying to make your deeds obvious, probably you are harboring bitter envy and selfish ambitions. This kind of wisdom is of the devil, and with it, there is disorder and evil practices.

True wisdom concentrates on these things:
                  You live pure - free of filth
                       You are peace-loving
                   You are considerate
                      You are submissive
                            Full of mercy
                         You have good fruit
                            You are impartial
                                         And sincere
                  Peacemakers who sow in peace
                          raise a harvest of righteousness
So help me God...