Spirit-Led Woman

Want to receive SpiritLed Woman by email? Sign up here
woman being robbed
(http://www.istockphoto.com)

The SpiritLed Woman podcast is empowering women weekly to follow their purpose in Christ and boldly walk in faith. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.


We often allow our lives to get clogged with envy, jealousy, selfish ambition and other kinds of rottenness. It's time to toss out the leftovers!

It shocks people to learn that my five kids consume about two gallons of milk and a loaf of bread every single day. That's why trips to our local grocery store are quite the adventure for me. I'm always pretty pleased with myself when I don't pass out after the cashier announces the total amount I owe.

Most of the time cashiers and bag boys have no idea I'm buying just one week's worth of groceries. They automatically assume I'm stockpiling for some impending disaster. But they're not totally off-base. The impending disaster comes as I try to fit an aisle's worth of groceries into a tenth-of-an-aisle-sized kitchen.

Out With the Old

After my last shopping adventure, my 10-year-old daughter, Allie, helped with the putting-away process. "Mom," she said, "I can't get all the new groceries to fit in the refrigerator with all this other stuff in here." So I suggested she make some room by throwing out food that had gone bad.

She looked at me with fear and doom in her eyes. "You mean you want me to clean out the refrigerator?" she asked.

I glanced over as she slowly removed and opened the first plastic container, handling it like a vial of toxic waste. "Mom, there's something in here ... ," she said, with a frightened, then a disgusted, and finally a sort of amazed look on her face. "I have no idea what this is."

"Probably some leftovers," I said reassuringly. But as I studied the contents myself, I realized I had no idea what it was either. Do you know how unnerving it is to find leftovers growing in your fridge and have no clue what they're left over from?

"Could it be a chicken?" Allie asked. "I think I see a beak."

We both shuddered, and Allie quickly dropped the container and its contents into the wastebasket. We also tossed a brown, slimy bag that must have been lettuce in another life, some spaghetti that seemed to have made its own meatballs, and a little surprise butter dish that contained something that was definitely not butter. Before long, all the old junk had been thrown away and the fridge was filled with fresh new groceries.

I don't think Allie was too traumatized by the ordeal—but come to think of it, she's stopped eating anything with chicken in it.

Get Rid of Jealousy, Envy, Selfish Ambition—and More

The entire episode made me think about how much we can "miss" spiritually when we hang on to old things that are rotten. The Lord wants to supply the new, but we tend to hang on to fleshly old stuff.

Jealousy, for instance, can be as putrid as month-old chicken. Left alone, it will mold and ferment just like that container of "whatever" Allie found. It can squeeze out the peace that's ready and waiting "in the grocery bag."

Isn't it sad to imagine God the Father saying, "Oops, no place in here for this piece. The bag's too full of rottenness." Proverbs 14:30 says, "A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones" (NIV). (Is it just me or are you also picturing a petrified chicken bone?)

Jealousy and envy start to grow when we stop celebrating the success of others. We allow a rejoicing opportunity to mold into selfishness, wondering why we didn't receive the blessing instead of someone else.

Make room for peace. Make room for Jesus.

Let Him fill every corner of your heart. He brings with His peace the whole list of fruit from Galatians 5:22—love, joy, goodness and all the rest.

This fruit doesn't need preservatives—it never shrivels, never rots, never even needs a seal-and-burp container. Plus, it's healthy and gives life to our bodies. Now, those are the kinds of provisions we really need!

Galatians 5:19-21 lists the rotten things that God's fruit can replace. Paul named them "the acts of the sinful nature." Jealousy appears in verse 20 and envy in verse 21.

Here's some good news to store up: As we make room for Jesus and stockpile His virtues, we begin to automatically chuck jealousy, envy and the like. Even after God stuffs His long and wonderful list of virtues into our lives, there's still plenty of room left over for more goodness!

Sorry, did I say, "left over"? Don't worry—it has nothing to do with moldy chicken.

It would do us all good to take this wise counsel to heart: "But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such 'wisdom' does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.

"For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness" (James 3:14-18).

Rhonda Rhea is the author of Amusing Grace, published by Cook Communications. Her writing has appeared in several magazines, including HomeLife, Parent Life and Today's Christian Woman.

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Rev. Samuel Rodriguez was the first Hispanic pastor in history to pray at a presidential inauguration.

    At Trump Inauguration, Charismatic Leaders Pray Boldly in Jesus' Name. Is This Foreshadowing a New Day in America?

    It was an amazing day to let religious freedom ring in America.

  • Pastor Jim Garlow in a file photo shown praying.

    Conservative Christian Leaders Gather in DC, Calling Trump's Election an Answer to Prayer

    "Although the news media is predicting protests, what I'm seeing is that everyone is abuzz ...

  • Donald Trump certainly needs your prayers.

    Why You Must Pray for Donald Trump

    Here are eight ways I plan to intercede for President Trump regularly.

  • When I flew into D.C. yesterday, there were so many Secret Servicemen on the plane I wondered what was going on!

    Jennifer LeClaire Releases Urgent Prophetic Warning Over Washington, D.C.

    When I flew into D.C. yesterday, there were so many Secret Servicemen on the plane I wondered what ...

  • Here's a prophetic word for Washington, D.C.

    Prophecy: The Lord Is Raising Up Daniels in DC

    I believe we're on the precipice of a Third Great Awakening the Lord spoke to my heart about in ...

  • Does any of this reflect what's going on in your marriage?

    9 Characteristics of a Healthy Sexual Relationship for a Believer

    A healthy sexual relationship for a Christian couple takes effort, and it's worth working for.

  • Bishop Eddie Long died at 63.

    Bishop Eddie Long Dead at 63

    "Although his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate ...

  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit