It seems to be a common thing these days (and has been since the beginning of time) - the problem of ENVY.
People see your vacation pictures on Facebook and the next thing you know - they're saying negative things suggesting that "Some people have to work for a living."
You post a picture of your new car and they say things like "It must be nice" in their sarcastic tone, that speaks volumes.
Once I even had a lady criticize me because I spent money to have my nails done (GASP!).
Just this week, I've read two different accounts of people being openly criticized in a public forum, for living out loud, as I call it. That's when you actually share things that are happening in your life, with the public (which is not always easy, I might add!)
One friend, who is a foster parent (hard job!!), was criticized for giving the illusion she had a perfect life. She received an ugly letter from someone, stating that she likes to brag about her life, like it's perfect. Her response was "Yeah, it's the one God gave me!" She's happy and she has a good marriage, sweet kids, and several foster children she gets up with in the middle of the night. Is her life perfect? I would take a bet and say "NO", but is she happy and content with what God has given her at this time? YES! Is there anything wrong with that? Only for the jealous.
Another sweet lady, whom I posted a review for last week, shared this morning that because she has written a book, she has had negative comments and emails, accusing her of being prideful. She has suffered through comments from others thinking she's perfect and criticizing her for giving this illusion that she has her life all together. The ironic thing is - she's just trying to help other women!
What a shame that we can't be blessed financially or blessed with foster children or blessed with the gift of writing or singing or any other gifting from God, without enduring the jealousy and hatefulness of others!
Are people really that shallow?
How do they know that the family who posted 50 pictures of their dream vacation, didn't save up for the last 10 years to get there?
How do they know that the "new car" their friend is sporting around town, cost less than that beater they were having to fix every month or how do they know that they didn't pay cash because they've lived off rice and beans for the past year?
And, that foster family that has the perfect life? Do they really think that having Child Protective Service look around your home, ask your friends what kind of a person you are, require you to take in kids you don't know, require you to come for visits and entertain visits from people you know aren't worthy, all so you can protect a few kids that aren't even yours, is fun? Is that really a picture of the "perfect life?"
And, then there are the critics of the woman who writes a book, basically not because she wants to, but because she's committed the decision to prayer night and day and God said "Do it!" She labored, cried, cringed at the thought of writing about her life and being an open book, threatened to back out, cried some more, persevered and finally, it was done. She had been obedient. She had used her gift of writing and her heart's desire to minister to women and she accomplished a monumental task. Yet, we don't want her to be proud now, do we? No, the critics want to make her ashamed of feeling good about something, because that would be evil. Seriously?
People, if you are that shallow, that you can't look upon someone else's blessings and feel joy for them, no matter your circumstances, then you need to get off social media and on your knees instead.
You need to dig into God's word and his presence until the envy is gone.
You need to thank him for what you do have and what he's allowed you to do.
If you want more - then ask him.
Work, pray, commit, change, do whatever he tells you to do.
"Rich and poor have this in common;
The Lord is the Maker of them all."
So, the next time you see your brother or sister (figuratively) on social media and they are happy and sharing about the good in their life - rejoice with them! When you do this, you're acknowledging the presence of God in their life and the absence of evil in yours.
"A heart at peace gives life to the body,
but envy rots the bones."
**Obviously I am not talking about situations of grief or loss. I am strictly speaking of material goods, talents, opportunities, or lifestyles. ***