Job 5:2 “Surely resentment kills the fool, and jealousy kills the simple.”
Do you have “that friend”? You know, the friend that always posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram about her perfect husband, and her kids that make straight A’s, living in the perfect house where she prepares fabulous gourmet meals nightly. You know…HER! The one that makes you feel a little jealous. Newsflash! If the only thing about her life that you see is what is posted on social media, you are only seeing the part she wants you to see. AND I’m just going to come right out and say it..regardless of that, you should be happy that she has so much to be joyful about. Success comes and goes for all of us throughout life, so let’s learn how to be happy for each other when successes come, because we need each other when they go. I believe that Facebook and other forms of social media can be used for good. It can actually be a place of encouragement, and positive experiences. It’s your CHOICE on how you want to perceive things. The writer of a post that you might find “braggy” may actually just want to share something positive with friends. If that person’s intent is to give praise for achievements or blessings we should be supportive of them, especially if they acknowledge God’s role in it.
Jealousy destroys relationships and deters us from reaching our own potential. Focusing on someone else’s successes while bemoaning how you don’t measure up, means that you have lost focus on what God has done for you. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. God has a specific plan for each of us, even for “that friend”. We need to remember that what we see as “not measuring up” or “things not going our way” is often God closing a door to reveal something better for us. When we are jealous of others, it’s like saying that we are unhappy with how God is handling things in our lives, and when we allow ourselves to feel this way it can lead to bad judgment.
What can we do to help fight these feelings?
· Recognize the triggers. We all know what gets to us. Avoid situations where this tends to happen.
· When jealousy starts to creep in, take that thought captive, admit it, confess it to God, and ask Him to make your thoughts obedient to His will. It's a daily battle in our minds and we need to fight it every day with God’s word
· Think about life in the long run. Don’t allow yourself to be consumed with worrying about “right now” because God works everything out for His good and in His own time.
· Count your blessings. If you focus on what you don’t have, you’ll never be satisfied.
· Accept that things are never going to be perfect. This isn’t Heaven, it’s a fallen world. Be thankful in whatever place He has put you in.( and bloom like a sunflower)
· Celebrate others’ happiness. Even if you have to force yourself to do it, congratulate them on their accomplishments. You might find that your heart will follow this lead and actually mean it.
Think that sounds impossible? Here is a personal testimony shared with us.
God can help you overcome jealousy. Two of my friends became “BFFs” and it made me feel like I was in middle school again. The jealousy ate away at me, and I prayed so hard for God to take away those destructive feelings. Each time I saw them together (which was a lot), I had to pray, but He took those feelings away. The first thing He had me do when those feelings would start creeping back in, was ask myself “How can I bless them?”, “How can I show them God’s love?”. I believe that by taking away my selfish thoughts and turning them back to God and others, He relieved me of the pain associated with their friendship. That was years ago, and they still exclaim “my BFF!!” about each other, but God virtually extricated the jealousy, and now I give thanks for their strong relationship. Only God could do that!
Two of our contributors mentioned books that they read that helped them change their perspective. You might want to check them out.
Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker
What’s So Amazing about Grace? By Philip Yancey.
Here are some verses to pray and ponder this week:
"For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."- Jeremiah 29:11
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."- John 16:33
For jealousy and selfishness are not God's kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.- James 3:15-16
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.- I Corinthians 10:13
It is a daily thing, bringing our lives before The Lord and wanting Him to shine through us so others know it is Him that gives us the peace and joy the world cannot bring, so let’s do it! Rock happiness and celebrate being you, because you are uniquely created to glorify and reflect God.
Contributors: Karen Bromby, Monica Brown, Maria Kucharczuk, Jamie Leary, Kim McClure, Marla McDonald, and Kristy Tolley