How to Overcome Jealousy
Have you ever felt that sharp sting of envy when you heard that something happened to someone else? Yup, that’s jealousy!
Do they have something you have always wanted, such as a beautiful home, a brand new car, or a handsome husband? Did they accomplish a goal, such as earning a college degree or receiving a promotion at work while you are stuck in the same position despite years of devoted labor? Do you find yourself wondering why they have a healthy and whole family, while yours is ravaged by divorce, feuds, or addiction? Jealousy is a complex emotion that, if left unchecked, will rob you of the very joy you envy in others.
Tell God about your struggles
God created us in His image, and to Him, we are very special. In the New Testament book of Hebrews, we are encouraged to look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. As an author, God has crafted the unique story of our lives. No two stories are alike, but all are extremely valuable to Him. Whenever you feel jealous, immediately repent and thank God for writing the words of your life’s story. Give Him your hurt, your pain, and yes, even your jealousies.
Tip: Ask Him to remove jealousy from your life and to help you be thankful for everything He will do in and through you.
Thank God for blessing others
We are encouraged to learn from each other by sharing our stories. However, when jealousy causes us to resent our own stories, we often try to insert ourselves into the pages of someone else’s story or compare our story to theirs. When we do that, we stop turning our own pages and we miss out on the “best” parts of our own book! The moment you feel that pang of jealousy, immediately repent and thank God for the blessing He has given to that other person.
Tip: Ask God to help you value what He has written for you and ask Him to guide you into better understanding of His plans for your life.
Focus on others
One way to keep jealousy at bay is to turn your focus to others. Especially those who don’t know Christ. Sometimes people seem to have it all, but outward appearances can be deceiving. Just because someone seems to have it all, doesn’t mean they aren’t hurting or empty inside. You don’t know what others have gone through or what they have had to sacrifice to have what they have and be who they are today.
Tip: Be intentional when it comes to other people. Purposefully share in the joy and happiness of others by praising their accomplishments, sharing in their joy, and being happy for what they have.
Sometimes it is hard to keep jealousy at bay when good things happen to undeserving people. However, the Bible is clear in Matthew 5:45 where we find that God allows the sun to rise on the good and the evil and that He sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Until Jesus returns, life will continue on this way. The most important thing for us to remember is that if we are truly a child of God, we will want to be a real reflection of Him at all times. That means not judging someone unworthy or undeserving. It is not up to you to determine whether or not someone else deserves that new house, that sports car, or their health! You never know how God may use these blessings to turn someone towards Him.
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourself.
James 3:14-16 But if you harbour 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, demonic. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.