The Green Iceberg
By Rosemary Flaaten –
Monstrous chunks of ice littered the seascape. Balmy weather had resulted in pieces of the glacier breaking off and drifting into open water creating oversized ice cubes with jagged edges, pinnacle spires and a glossy sheen. Icebergs, though magnificent to behold, create a menacing and deadly reality. If seaman only had to concern themselves with the ice that towers above the water surface, these icebergs would need nothing more than their brief attention. But, it is the enormous mass (almost 90% of the iceberg) that looms below the dark surface which poses the greatest risk and requires serious attention.
There is a matter of the heart that presents itself as an iceberg in our lives. We may show glimpses of it occasionally, but most of the time the bulk of this sin looms deep in the darkness of our hearts and minds. This iceberg has a green tinge to it. This sin that threatens our environment, our relationships and our soul is envy.
The wise King Solomon knew of the disastrous effect when he wrote “envy rots the soul” (Proverbs 14:30 NIV). Socrates called envy the ulcer of the soul, and C.S. Lewis referred to it as “the most odious of vices.” Our propensity to compare ourselves to others produces either a prideful superiority or self-debasement. At times we may verbalize these comparisons, but public scrutiny usually keeps these thoughts deep in our hearts and minds. Unfortunately, the relational effect is not hidden. Envy rips apart friendships, lacerates trust and erodes love for others, self and God.
As Christ followers who desire to have an inner spirit that reflects our Savior, we must melt the iceberg of envy. What’s the best way to get rid of ice? Sunshine and salt. Allow God’s light to expose the rot of envy beneath the surface. Let His word be the salt that directs you to love and respect others. Look for the good in others, celebrating who they are, their uniqueness and accomplishments. This will produce a much safer relational environment.
Beware! Icebergs may look harmless above the water surface, but danger looms below. Comparison may make us feel good, but envy destroys our relationships and soul. Let some sunshine and salt bring about a change.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You see my heart. Illuminate for me the relationships and situations where envy has taken root and help me to celebrate each person You bring across my path.
“Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original” (Galatians 5:25-26 The Message).
Today’s Devotional is by Rosemary Flaaten. Her successful book, A Woman and Her Relationships helps women process their outside-of-work relationships, so now she’s delving into these 9-5 relationships in A Woman and Her Workplace. Her Relationships book won The Word Guild Award, which is Canada’s top Christian literary honor. A dynamic speaker—Rosemary challenges women of all professions to view their work as a calling and their workplaces as opportunities to live out Christ’s love. Rosemary lives with her husband and three children in Calgary, Canada.