Thursday, February 2, 2017

How to Overcome Jealousy, Part 1

Jealousy. Don't you wish it was not a part of your life? I am sure I experienced it as a child, but my first real war with it came in my adult years. My world was small and I was happy, but one day my friend's world got larger and I noticed a nasty emotion. I tried to ignore it (denial) but it wouldn't go away. Why was I saying these ugly things to someone I loved? We used to talk about anything, but why were there suddenly certain topics I wished they would keep to themselves? One day I slammed the phone receiver down and the Lord hit me right between the eyes when He said, "You, my dear, are JEALOUS!" 

I tried everything to get rid of it. I tried to be happy for my friend. I tried confessing it to death. I asked for a radical jealous-ectomy. None of this worked. Don't you hate it when you feel something you know you shouldn't? 

I was at a loss. I think I even looked for sermons on the internet on this topic. They seemed to quiet the monster for a season, but then it would come back, sometimes with two heads and an extra tail! 

  Much can be said about this ugly emotion, but a couple of things have been etched on my heart about it.

  1. Jealousy reveals what our heart values. We are never jealous of something we don't want. Sometimes what we are jealous of shows how shallow we are or how discontent we are with what God has given us. 
 2. Jealousy reduces people down to objects or looks or money. People are so much more than that. I realized my friend didn't want what I envied about her to blind me to her need for friendship, for an encourager, for a lunch partner-- all that is good in human relationships. Sounds shameful, doesn't it? Would you want to lose a friend because she couldn't get past your owning something she wanted? It cheapens something precious. 
  3. Getting over jealousy is not usually an out-patient procedure. No, it's a rather lengthy and painful surgery because it strikes at the core of what really matters to us. Get healing in those areas and you can cut off both heads of the monster. 

What about you? Have you struggled with jealousy? What have you discovered is a way to overcome it? 


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