I’m not a jealous person. That’s the one sin that I don’t really struggle with. (Or so I thought!) Sure, I’d love to have a bright and shiney new car, but after my last car died and God provided a pathway for me to be able to drive something newer and nicer than I’d imagined I’d have been able to? It’s rarely more than a passing thought. And I’d love a house just a tad bit bigger than my 700 sq ft! But? At least I don’t have a whole lot to have to clean.
Then? This past month, my whole comfortable world was rocked. I’ve experienced jealousy from angles I never thought were there. And I realized, that it’s not just STUFF. In fact, I realized that the enemy knows I don’t care about stuff, so he attacked me where he knew it would hurt. He has attacked my relationships and sent jealousy flooding in.
And I’m not just talking my marriage. (Sure, that green-eyed monster has taken up residence with my husbands co-workers… but not only there!)
Jealousy has invaded my friendships in a way I never really felt possible. I have always been the type of person who wanted my friends to be as blessed as they have made me. I don’t have to be your only friend. I don’t have to be your best friend. (In fact, in my younger years? I made fun of those needy girls. Yep, there’s a big confession for you.)
But the enemy has been working the “perfect storm” into my friendships. In one case it was someone who monopolized all of that friends time and energy. In another it was someone who constantly reminded me that they were the “best friend” as though it was some ridiculous reality tv show and she’d won the final rose of friendship. (This friendship meme really describes how I was feeling. HA!)
No matter what the case, I have found myself surrounded by jealousy lately. And I don’t like it. One bit.
So how does one battle this sort of jealousy? I want to share a few steps that have been working for me.
Jealousy is a sin. So take it to God. But go a step farther, find someone to hold you accountable. (The best part about this path that we’re on? We should NEVER have to do it alone, no matter how big or small!) James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Shower others with love.
I know, this sounds so silly. But give it a try. Send an encouraging text message. Give a smile. Buy a friend a cup of coffee. These little random acts of kindness not only encourage your friend and give you the little boost that comes with that, but it’s biblical too! Before you know it? Jealousy will be finding somewhere else to lay it’s annoying little head, because you’ve replaced it with kindness. Proverbs 27:27 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Hebrews 10:24 Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds.
Examine your heart.
This is often easier said than done. But I know once I started doing this in regards to my jealousy I found unconfessed sin. (Not to say that’s the “cause” of some of the problems I was having, but it helped me to step closer to God. And when my eyes are on God? I’m not so worried about the little aspects of life.) 1 thessalonians 2:4 On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.
Jealousy is not an emotion that God wants for us, yet it’s something that so many of us struggle with on a regular basis. What are some of your tips for combating the green-eyed monster?