Everywhere I look, retailers are telling me emerald green is the color of the year. Pantone, this global heavyweight entity who determines this title of color of the year. According to their own website, Pantone “is the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems and leading technology for the selection and accurate communication of color across a variety of industries.” Their reach is in every consumer line from home and paint, to electronics and fashion. As the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries, Pantone LLC sets the standard that all other industries follow. Wow!
On their official Emerald page, Pantone associates emerald with words like energize, heritage, and radiance and of course it can be related to the Wizard of Oz prequel, Oz, which is about the Emerald City. But to me, emerald reminds me of nature, sickness, jewelry, money, and greed (not necessarily related.) So how did the phrase “green with jealousy” come about? According to a question/answer board, this is how the color green got associated with jealousy:
“In the ancient Greek theory of medicine, which long governed medical treatment, it was believed that an imbalance of certain “humors” produced one’s physical symptoms. Jealousy was considered to result in an excess of bile, which would give a pale-greenish cast to the skin. This idea remained popular for centuries, though it underwent some transformations. It famously appears in ‘Othello,’ when Iago refers to jealousy as a ‘green-eyed’ monster.”
But with emerald, being the color of 2013 and forever linked to jealousy, it will be in our faces more than ever for the next few months. While this color’s hype will only last for 12 months, the spirit of jealousy lasts much longer. How do we combat it? First, let me start off by saying I don’t think of you or anyone who struggles with feeling of jealousy as being weak or unspiritual. It’s what you do with those feelings that says whether you are mature or not.
As I stare at my emerald-colored toenails, it’s apparent I want to fit in as badly as the next person. I have been “green with jealousy” on numerous occasions. From women who are thinner, smarter, more accomplished, wealthier, etc., there’s no end to what can make us jealous of someone else. There’s a spirit that strives to keep us discontent with every aspect of our lives, always wanting something more. The Bible warns about it in the 10 Commandments when it tells us not to covet what others have. When we covet, we feel immediately feel badly about ourselves and what God has given us. This leads to low self-esteem.
How do you break the cycle of jealousy? Be aware of it. Pick it apart. Find out why you’re jealous. Is there something you could do in your own life, some short-coming you need to work on? For me, it has been career. God has never allowed me to work a full-time job outside the home, despite my efforts. Time after time, I’ve hit a brick wall. This has been extremely frustrating to me because I am a go-getter who had great plans for my own life. On top of that, our family could have used a large second income. So as I drove my rickety care through my nice neighborhood lined with beautiful homes, I found someone to be jealous of. She was Ivy League educated, top in her profession, and a successful entrepreneur. Week after week, something would remind me of her, stirring those feelings of jealousy.
When I finally met this woman, I was in awe of her. I never told her how much I admired her directly, but I never missed an opportunity to be where she was, hoping some of her greatness would rub off.
As time went on, God convicted me of my jealousy, showing me that people who have it all together in one aspect of their lives, are falling apart in other areas. As soon as I believed this truth, jealousy’s hold on me was broken. As I later learned, this woman was no exception. Today, she is divorced and no longer is a successful part of this community (although she may be profiting from it elsewhere.) I just heard that her only son committed suicide awhile back. What good is success if you have no one to share it with?
If you struggle with envy or jealousy, remember that everyone has difficulties or struggles in their lives. Nobody has it all! Pray that God will allow you to see others the way He sees them.
This is another reason why small groups are a critical part of spiritual growth. It’s when you get to know others around you that these facades break down and you see how messed up we all are. Learn to be content like Paul. Learn to become One Body Strong!
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Realize. Repent. Redirect.