Addressing Jealousy

That haunting feeling that comes over you when someone shows up to an event better dressed than you?  Or when you work really hard on something but someone else gets the recognition for it.

Jealousy, yes jealousy can rear its ugly head even among the most 'spiritual' christian folk.  While it's not a topic we discuss and seldom care to admit to, if we are honest with ourselves we realize we all struggle at times with jealousy.

But where does jealousy stem from? Why do we feel these awful feelings? How do we get rid of them?

Firstly jealously comes from our hearts. Which the bible says are deceitfully wicked.
A jealous person is a prideful selfish individual.  Ouch!  One who esteems themselves higher than they ought to.  They think they deserve more than what they have and have a grandiose view of self. Though they may not be aware of it, jealous people live in a world all about them.
Why do we get these jealous feelings?  Well we are sinners of course . We can be jealous over so many things. We can be jealous of others and what they have, jealous over our spouses, over our friends and their other friendship's. Jealousy is such an ugly emotion and one I myself have had to deal with on many an occasion.

So how do I deal with jealousy?
I have to deal with is on a case by case basis. Lol. It really all depends on the type of jealousy you are dealing with it.  But here are some examples and ways to handle it.

Jealousy towards others
Examples: Jealous that others have nicer things than you do, more talents than you do, promoted over you, 'better life than you'.  These people are usually not your friends, but still people you may see on a regular basis.
The cure: Be thankful for what you have. Often when we are jealous of others we have completely forgotten what we have been blessed with by God. Imagine you gave two gifts for two separate people. Both well thought out gifts, but one was more expensive than the other. You give the individuals their gifts and then they start complaining that they want the other persons gift. How would that make you feel?  I would firstly think these people are rude and want to take back my gifts but I would also be hurt. Just because I spent more on one person than the other didn't mean that I cared any less about that person. I think this is how God feels when he blesses us and we are jealous of what someone else has. He has given us so many good gifts in life and as the gift giver it's his choice how much or how little he wants to give us. Who are we to get an attitude over it?  Read Matt 20 The Parable of the Vineyard and the it from the perspective of this post.  

Deep rooted jealousy of friends/ family
Examples:  Jealousy over what they have, maybe a friend is getting married and your not. 
Jealousy of friends is a depressing feeling because these are supposed to be your friends/family.  You aren't supposed to have these conflicting emotions. For the most part you want to be happy for your friend but inside you can't conjure up the emotions cause you want it too.  I think dealing with this jealousy is harder because every time you see this person you are reminded of your jealousy.
The Cure: The bible says to rejoice with those who rejoice.  I think the best way to deal with this jealousy is to  rejoice in  their blessing. If a friend is getting married help her all you can to have the best wedding she can. Pray for her new blessing regularly. The heart can only take conflicting emotions for so long, so you just can't  manage to be actively involved helping the person you are jealous of without eventually just breaking and being happy for them. But when you distance yourself it gives plenty of opportunity for jealousy to grow!

Jealousy in relationships and friendships.
Example: Jealousy over husbands time, or friends making new friends.
This jealous often is rooted out of a spirit of rejection. These people always feel that people like others more than them and feel like they are never good enough. They end up pushing their friends or spouses away because they become so overbearing.  They say things like 'am I your best friend, cause you are mine?'. They nitpick when their spouse talks to anyone other than them.  They always feel second best in everyone's lives.  If you struggle with these sort of emotions it's definitely important to share this with the people you are close to. This way they can pray for you and have patience when you are being a total pain in the butt.
The Cure: If you struggle with jealousy in friendships you need God to reveal to you how precious you are and your worth in Christ. Find all the scriptures you can about how God feels about you and begin to memorize them. Your sense of self needs to come from Christ and not others.

Lastly there is jealousy that stems from previous hurts and injustices.  If you have been cheated on or abused in some sort of way  and struggle with jealousy and mistrust due to those type of issues, you need to forgive the person who broke your trust and caused you initially to start feeling this way. Talk to your pastor or a close friend over how you can overcome this area.  
Jealousy is not something to hide or sweep under the rug. Expose it for what it is and be delivered. Growing up I experienced my share of rejection and always felt that others had a more stable life than I. When I became a christian these attitudes followed me.  I had mindsets like 'their lives seem so perfect'.  Making me increasingly dissatisfied with my own. I had to address and recognize this pattern of thinking and God began to help me in this area.

One thing I want everyone to know is any battle you face you are never alone. Everyone you know is probably battling the same issue to some degree if not worse.  Ladies if you have experienced deliverance in an area share it with your friends and family. You never know who it can give hope to. And of you are battling don't keep it in!  Find a good friend and have them pray through it with you!!
God is a deliverer!


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