Jealousy is something we often do not like to talk about, especially when it comes to our own personal struggles as it puts us in a vulnerable position. A position that exposes our feelings of inadequacy or not feeling as though we are good enough. Many of us have struggled with jealousy at some point in our lives and for some this may be a stronghold. In this blog post, I will be explaining what jealousy is, it’s implications and how you can overcome.
Jealousy often goes hand in hand with envy. One of the definitions of jealousy in the Oxford Dictionary is a feeling or showing an envious resentment of someone or their achievements, possessions, or perceived advantages. This is the definition that I will be discussing in this blog post.
Have I ever been jealous of anyone? Most certainly yes. I believe my most severe case of jealousy played out when I was in University. Basically, I was with a guy and he chose another girl over me. I was wounded and found myself comparing myself to this girl in every way possible.
You see, often times we can question why God has chosen to bless others instead of us and we can rationalise in our minds all of the reasons why, for example she may be prettier, more liked, or she may have a larger following on Instagram ect ect. However this is a lie. God does not have favourites and He blesses each and everyone of us in His own way.
“For God does not show favoritism.”Romans 2:11
Jealousy has existed for a very long time, even during Bible times. We see this in the story of Joseph, David and even Jesus. Joseph was favoured by his father and by God. This caused his brothers to be jealous and they sold him into slavery. Herod was so threatened by the coming of Jesus he ordered for all baby boys under the age of two to be killed. David was known as a man after Gods own heart. Saul became envious of David at the point when the women praised David for slaying 10,000 enemies and Saul only 1000. From this point, Saul sought to pursue David in an attempt to kill him. The overarching similarities of all three stories is how destructive jealousy can be.
Jealousy usually comes from a place of insecurity and fear. Usually this fear stems from other times in our lives where we have gone through long periods of wanting, feared that God may not give us the desires of our hearts or even comparison. The Bible says that Saul became afraid of David because the Lord was with him (1Samuel 18:12).
As I’ve grown older I have reflected on previous situations within my own life where jealousy, insecurity or fear may have been present and I have come to terms with the fact that God will never give me what is NOT for me, and I am okay with that. I am at peace knowing that God will always give me His best.
Jealousy Is A Work Of The Flesh.
“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are:…jealousies…of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”Galatians 5:19-21
The Bible is clear that we will miss out on the kingdom of God if we have jealousy in our hearts. I believe this is because so many other negative emotions can stem from jealousy such as resentment, bitterness, anger, pride and in worse scenarios hatred. The Bible says that where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there (James 3:16). These things can ultimately destroy you.
“…love does not envy”1 Corinthians 13:4
In contrast, the Spirit will allow us to love people, therefore we can be happy for them when they are doing well.
The Comparison Trap.
Comparison often comes before jealousy. In 2018 I wrote a blog post called Stay In Your Lane. In summary, comparison will rob you of your joy, peace and your blessings. When we compare our lives with others and covet what they have, we will lose focus on what God is trying to bless us with, which can lead to us missing out on the amazing things God has for us.
“For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”2 Corinthians 10:12
The truth is, there is enough to go around. Consider the bread industry where there are many different brands of bread sold all over the world, yet still enough customers for every brand. Similarly, God does not leave anyone out, however administers different gifts and talents to all of us to advance His Kingdom (1 Corinthians 12:4-6).
If you are feeling overwhelmed with jealousy, your start to freedom can begin with honouring those who God blesses because you never know if or how they can be a blessing to you.
God blesses people because He loves them, and He loves you too.
Please remember that life does not get better when you hold on to jealousy towards others. Only Jesus can make your life better, however He can only do that according to your obedience and faith in Him.
Strategies To Overcome Jealousy.
1. Firstly, Walk In The Spirit.
Because jealousy is a work of the flesh, we need to walk in the Spirit so that we do not fulfil the temptation to be jealous of others. We can do this by asking God for more of His Spirit, praying, worshipping and meditating on His Word.
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”Galatians 5:16
2. Lay Aside Jealousy And Envy.
“Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby…”1 Peter 2:1-2
You can lay aside jealousy and envy by feeding your Spirit with Gods Word. As Christians one of the things we are called to do is renew our minds (Romans 12:2). When we renew our minds with the Word of God we will then be transformed and will therefore be able to grow spiritually.
The Bible says those who are jealous of others will not enter the Kingdom of God, therefore you have to repent in order to get your heart right. God is faithful and merciful.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”1John 1:9
4. Cast Out Fear By Replacing It With Love.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”1 John 4:18
Because jealousy can be rooted in fear, fear has to be cast out. Make a conscious effort to work on loving others and tap into the love that God has for you.
5. Trust God.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding…”Proverbs 3:5
When things are not going well for you trust in God. He still has a plan for your life no matter what you see.
6. Learn To Be Content.
“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”Hebrews 13:5
As a child of God you have to learn to be content in all situations. The Apostle Paul understood this as he knew how it felt to be in need, and to have plenty. This is how he mastered the art of being content in all situations (Philippians 4:12).
7. Be Thankful For All That You Have.
“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”1 Thessalonians 5:18
Thanksgiving is God’s will for us. Grateful people are happy people because they trust God and understand that He will cater for their every need. They are able to see the beauty in all seasons.
8. Celebrate People When They Are Doing Well.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.”Romans 12:15
We should be happy for people and desire to see them do well. When they weep, weep with them and when they rejoice, rejoice with them.
As I finish I want to leave you with the below Scripture.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”Galatians 5:1
God does not want us to live in bondage. He cares for us too much and wants us to experience the good life He has for us.
I do hope this message has blessed and encouraged you. If so, please share and tell us in the comments below how you were able to overcome jealousy.
Stay Blessed and Encouraged