(*This is part 1 of two posts I will be doing on the laziness topic. I will be posting the next one on "ways to stay motivated if you work from home.")
"If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” - Genesis 4:7 (NIV)
You might be surprised to hear that laziness and jealousy go hand-in-hand. Allow me to explain:
One of my motivators is growth.
What do I mean by this? Well, one of the driving factors in my life is how much growth I am seeing amongst myself and other people. If I am unable to see growth in what I am doing, I start becoming depressed. When I become depressed, I start becoming unmotivated. When I become unmotivated, I start becoming lazy. When I become lazy, I get very little done, and it is hard for me to pick myself up again and do the work I need to do. Then I start comparing myself to other people. I become jealous of the girl who has a more successful blog or podcast than I do. I mix anger, depression, and jealousy together, producing hatred for other people. It is a horrible, sinful, and vicious cycle.
Recently, I have been seeing almost no growth whatsoever. In fact, I have seen an active decline of views on my website, podcast, and social media platforms. Topping it off, I am terrible at keeping a schedule and always have been. Right now, it would be easy for me to sleep in every morning, shut-down, or give up completely and start comparing myself to other people. But I am not going to do that.
In my latest podcast episodes, I have been discussing Cain and Abel. Most of you probably know the story: Cain kills his brother Abel due to the fact that he was jealous that God liked Abel's offering, but did not like Cain's offering. Usually the story ends there. But this time, I observed a little tidbit of Scripture that I had never noticed before.
God comes to Cain before Cain commits murder:
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” - Genesis 4:6-7
How interesting is that? God is essentially saying to Cain, "If you do well, you will be accepted. Don't have that angry look on your face. You have control over sin!"
In other words, Cain did not do well when he presented his offering to God. He didn't give God his best. Abel, however, did. And Cain became angry and jealous because of this, even though Cain could have just apologized and done his best next time to become accepted!
How often do we as women do the same thing? How often do we compare ourselves to other people on social media? How often do we become jealous because another woman has more social media followers than we do, or a more popular service than ours, or more clients than us? How often do we get mad at the person succeeding at work, because she is putting in more time and effort than we are?
Now let me add this in - how often do we actually give our best to God, to others, to our clients, readers, and bosses? Do we give our best work, or do we cut corners, become lazy, or choose to procrastinate, and then get jealous of the girl who is giving her best and is succeeding because of it?
*Let me raise my hand!! Me! I do this.*
Friends, yes! I do this often! I get so jealous of the women who is doing her all and succeeding, when I am working only a fraction of the hours she is putting in! I become so jealous of that woman for doing her best, when I am doing half the work she is!
But what if we changed this mindset? What if we actually started giving our all to our jobs, bosses, clients, and to God?
What if we stopped becoming jealous of others, and instead, cheered them on as we work hard alongside them? What if we used their success as motivation for us to work harder? What if we actually started trying?
I absolutely know that things would be different for us. The anger, hatred, and jealousy would disappear. We would feel freedom. We would become happy and satisfied in our work because God accepts the hard worker! He said that directly to Cain. God approves of those who give Him their all and their best work. (This doesn't mean you will always find success in what you are doing. God may want you to do something else with your life. Also, God rewards hard work in many different ways. It won't look the same for each person.)
Dear reader, let's not allow sin to crouch at the door. We have control over it. God says so. Let's be motivated to work hard. Let's get out of ruts of jealousy. Let's start giving our best work to God and letting Him take our work and use it for good.
Thank you for accepting me. I want to give you my best and stop comparing myself to other people. I confess my sins of jealousy and laziness to you. I am sorry and am thankful for Your forgiveness. In Jesus's name,
Take a listen to the newest podcast episode on Cain and Abel here: