Jealousy destroys lives.
It ruins friendships.
Splits churches in two.
It is one of the biggest weapons that the enemy uses yet it is also one of the easiest to give into.
It begins with a little thought:
I could do that better than they do.
That should be mine.
I can't believe they got their book published, I wrote one too.
Look at them, they got together and didn't invite me.
Her husband treats her better than mine treats me.
I should have gotten that job, not him.
Why do they get to go on that cruise and not me?
Notice anything about all of those thoughts? They are all self-centered.
Me. Mine. I.
1st Corinthians 13: 4-7 clearly tells us that love is not shown in jealousy.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
You can't truly love someone if you are jealous of them. There is no room for jealousy in love.
We have all been there at some point in our lives. Jealous of someone for having something better than what we have. But you know what? We don't know what goes on behind those closed doors. We don't know the past. Sometimes the big wonderful thing that we are jealous of has come because of an even bigger horrible thing.
I have several friends who have recently published books. Not self-published, but real published. As in, they have a contract and are making it. As thrilled as I am for them there was a little tiny spark of jealousy that tried to creep in.
Suzanne, you wrote a book too. You spent two years crafting and agonizing and editing over 85,000 words. You should be published, not them.
I quickly squelched that thought.
My friend who wrote and wrote and wrote after her son died? Her contract and career will never bring him back. I am happy for her and I know the healing power that writing can have.
My friend who wrote out her daily experience for two years after her vibrant, healthy twenty-one year old son fell down the stairs on Thanksgiving day and sustained a life changing brain injury? He will never be his old self. Writing helped her express her fear, frustration, anger, and again helped bring healing to her heart. I am thrilled for her, she is now a voice of hope to other families who have experienced a traumatic brain injury.
On the flip side, I've been on the receiving end of jealousy. I have had friendships end because I spent more time with one person than with another. Even recently, in fact.
And church stuff? Don't even get me started with that one. My mother-in-law once offered me this advice as a pastor's wife: "Be friendly to everyone and a friend to no one (in the church)." What she meant by this was to treat everyone the same because if you don't then people get jealous.
Granted, there are some people that you will naturally get along with better than others and there are some families that I do things with, but no one is close enough to me that they know my secrets, my heart. I have a very close circle of friends that I've known for decades, they are the ones that I trust with my heart. They are the ones that really know me.
If you are finding yourself full of jealousy then you need to repent of that and remember to be thankful for what you have. We are all just people and every single one of us has struggles. No one has an easy life. No one. Some have found it easier to live through the hard times because our focus isn't on ourselves, it is on the Lord. When you live your life trying to please Him it is just simply easier to live.
Jealousy is an ugly, nasty thing and has no place in the life of a Christian. Get rid of it.