(Below are Jessica's thoughts on Chapter 24, Why shouldn't I be jealous and envious when everybody else is better off than I am?, Wilderness Mentality #9 of Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. We'd love to hear your thoughts on this chapter as well. Feel free to leave a comment, question and/or scripture in the comment section below this post. Let's join together and fight this battle.
As autism moms, we are certainly not immune to feelings of competition, inferiority, inadequacy, jealousy and envy. We want to feel like we are "normal" and compare our ourselves and our families to those that don't have a child on the spectrum. We look at how other moms are handling their child with autism's needs and compare ourselves to them. We even compare our children with other children on the spectrum. We want to make sure we are doing our very best and that our children move ahead in the quickest way possible. We want to be happy for other people, but sometimes we feel more downcast about our own struggles. This all sounds like we all have the very best intentions but what it really boils down to is jealousy and envy.
I remembered hearing a verse in Isaiah recently and went looking in my Bible for it to share here, about how we are not to think one way is better than the other, for God knows what is truly best for us. What I found is this:
I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go. -Isaiah 48:17
However, as I scanned the book of Isaiah, what kept jumping out at me were God's promises to rescue, bless and remember his chosen people. Above all, how treasured and loved His children are. I want to expand on this, because as Joyce mentions in this chapter, jealousy and envy stem from feelings of inadequacy. In weak moments, we can convince ourselves that someone else is more blessed than we are. It is as if we are saying that we think God loves someone else more than he loves or favors us. When we have a true revelation of God's individual love for us, there is no room for these feelings. We can then be free to pray for others to be even more blessed, as Joyce suggests, in spite of our natural first inclinations. The best way to conquer a jealous impulse is with an act of love. I want to share the verses that jumped out at me in the hopes that they will minister to each of us as a powerful reminder of God's love for us and free us from this wilderness mentality.
Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are ever before me.
-Isaiah 49: 15-16
Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
-Isaiah 54: 10