We want to be their friend. We wish our jeans fit like hers do. We think her husband is a better catch. We compare our kids struggles to her kids victories. We long to be a part of that group. We wish for her financial freedom.
Yuckity, Yuck. Yuck.
Sometimes us girls can be so… fleshy. Yes?
But jealousy can get even trickier.
Not only are we jealous of what they have now, but that feeling can get more intense when they:
- buy a newer, bigger, fancier home
- succeed on a diet
- get invited to do more things than we do
- have a husband who is more verbally affirming
- take exciting vacations
In fact, I’d like to suggest we actually find guilty pleasure in watching those who we perceive to have it all… struggle or even fail.
It might look like this:
When you learn her “perfect” marriage is ending in divorce… your response is, “Well, she can’t have it all!“
When her “golden” child makes a bad choice, you snicker because it tarnishes her family’s reputation.
When you see she’s put back on those 20 pounds, you smile inside because she failed.
Lord Jesus come get us now!
Girls… that is stinkin’ thinkin’ any way you slice it. And it also goes against what God wants for us.
Galatians 5:25-26 says, “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.”
This verse tells us to count the blessings we have rather than be jealous of the blessings others have.
We’re simply not equipped to handle their blessings… or the struggles that come with them.
And I realize that when I long for what someone else has… at the very core… it’s because I’m trying to fill an empty space in… me.
I want something to make me feel better about… me.
But you know what? The opposite happens.
When jealously rears its ugly head, I feel such discontentment with my life and can obsess about what I don’t have. I feel disconnected from God. I find myself discouraged and depressed.
… Dude, that’s a lot of “D’s.”
Anyone with me here?
Come on… Don’t leave a sister hangin’.
Anyhoo… since we both struggle from time to time with jealously…
… what if we decided to shift our perspective from what we don’t have to what we do?
… what if we chose to celebrate others, and be genuinely happy for how God is working and blessing their life?
… what if – when life throws someone a curve ball – we decided to reach out in love?
Wouldn’t that be a game-changer?
But sisters, when we instead chose jealousy… it’s a red flag that our sinful nature is in the driver’s seat. When we grin at their defeat, when we smirk at their shortcomings, when we root for their demise… we are responding in direct opposition of what God asks of us.
We are disobeying Him, because He wants us to love.
Jealousy is a nasty condition of our heart.
So how do we clean it out?
- Confess it. Every time it rears its ugly head, confess it.
- Pray for those who you envy. Ask God to continue to richly bless them. (Warning: this is super-dooper hard)
- Remember the person whose demise you celebrate is greatly loved by God… enough so that His Son died for them.
- Ask God to show you the root issue behind your jealousy. Then ask Him to heal it.
- When something good happens to that person, acknowledge it. Send a note or an email, call them or text them, etc.
Most importantly, spend time in prayer thanking God for all He has done… for you.
You’ll find yourself more blessed than you imagined.
©2013 Carey Scott