It’s easy to be jealous of others, isn’t it?
Not only do we envy what they have now, but we find that envy growing when they:
- buy a newer, bigger, fancier home
- succeed on a diet
- get invited to do more things
- have a husband who cooks and cleans
- 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:
- Her family seemed so perfect, so when you discover her marriage is ending in divorce your response is, “Well, she can’t have it all!“
- When her “golden” child makes a bad choice and it affects the family’s reputation, you find yourself snickering because it brings her down a notch or two in the eyes of the community.
- When you meet for lunch and notice she has put back on those 20 pounds she seemed to easily lose, you smile inside because now she won’t be getting all the attention.
That is stinkin’ thinkin’ any way you slice it. And sisters, it also goes against what God wants for us.
Galatians 5:26 says, “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.“
In other words… we need to love others, encourage them and celebrate their lives. When we do, we are breathing life into them. We are freeing them up to be who they are. We are accepting all of them – stumbles, fumbles and all.
Doesn’t that sound amazing?
But sisters, when we don’t… 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. What a nasty condition of our hearts.
And when that jealous nature awakes, it rots our perspective. Life doesn’t seem fair. We complain that we don’t get the things we want, leaving us unhappy and bitter. It eats away at our soul.
So, when we find ourselves in that bottomless pit of envy… what do we do to claw our way out?
Here are my suggestions based on God’s truths and my own experiences.
- 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 hard)
- Remember the person whose demise you giggle at 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.
I think you’ll find yourself more blessed than you can imagine.