How to Overcome (Envy Part 3 of 5)

Second, accept who you are not.

John added, “You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ…” (3:28).

Now remember the Jews were chafing under the authority of the Romans. Thus, they were longing for the promised Messiah, whom they interpreted as a political savior. So when some firebrand popped up, the people would wonder, “Is this the Christ we have been waiting for?”


Not surprisingly, when multitudes flocked to John the Baptist – with his bold rhetoric and austere lifestyle – even the Jewish religious leaders quizzed him if he was that Christ. I would imagine how John would be tempted to say yes. Or at least give a sly nod. After all, why not? Why can’t he start the movement? Why can’t he get something out of his troubles?


Had John went down that path and the real Christ enters the stage, that would trigger the alarm bells of envy. But he resisted the press releases about him. He showed incredible level-headedness when he avowed, “I am not the Christ.” That’s why when, later, Jesus stole the spotlight from him, there was nothing within John to be threatened.


Part of overcoming envy is to be at peace with who you are not. I am not the celebrity author; I am not the highly paid hotshot. Definitely, I am not the center of my universe.


Notice I said, “be at peace with who you are not.” Envious people know that they are not the people they envy. They have no choice but to live with the reality. But it takes great courage to face the “what is not” and let go of the resentment. We reject the notion that the Fates have conspired against us, cheating us from what is justly ours.


But we have Someone far better. We are not under the machinations of Fate, but under the wise care of the Father. And in letting go of who we are not, we free ourselves to blossom into who we really are.


This brings us to the third lesson. Don’t miss it.

Photo credit from Forbes

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