Shame RX: Resting is not lazy.

Ecclesiastes 4:4 (NIV)

“And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”

Sometimes we can feel guilty for winning. Others might be jealous and not see the sweat equity we put in. They might want what we have achieved.  But they don’t know the cost of getting there.

Years ago, I won an award for revamping the filing system at the Department of Justice when I worked for one of the Deputy Assistant Attorney Generals there. It was during the transition from one President to another (Bush to Clinton) and there was not much work, so I found something I could do and it was recognized and rewarded. 

Awesome. That is, until I sent a funeral announcement out to the entire national DOJ offices and it was inadvertently the wrong document (my resume that mentioned this award) that I sent out instead of a funeral announcement. 

Yeah. One of those moments in life you revel in, right? If we are going to make mistakes, they may as well be big ones, right? 

When some people caught on that it was my resume (my name was not on it, thank God) and saw the reward, the gratefulness for a hard-earned reward became shame arising from jealousy. 

People complained and said I only got the reward because . . . you get the point. 

When people want our portion, we can remember when we wanted someone else’s portion, too. We would not want anything other than God’s plan for us. Someone else’s success is not a part of our story.

And when we feel shame rising from other people’s jealousy for our success, we can remember that we  did not achieve it on our own in the first place. 

If we are really honest, we know that God gets the glory for every single thing we succeed at. He gives the talents and abilities. He gives the favor and the willingness to work. And people come alongside and encourage us in the gifts and calling of God in our lives.

Shame arising from jealousy is not ours to own. We are not to blame for other people’s jealousy. Don’t let shame steal your joy when God grants you victory or you meet with success. Every success is not about us, anyway, but about God’s glory and serving others.


Need to get rid of shame in your life? Join the Shame Off You Bible Study Mondays at 7pm ET.

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