I don't know about you, but it is difficult for me to admit that I have had feelings of jealousy about someone. I never enjoy sharing those raw and barbaric parts of my nature. And yet, it is true to say that I have often envied people in my lifetime.
The older I get the more those feelings seem to diminish. Somehow as the years whittle away so too does some of my pettiness. I think it is because I am becoming aware of how short life really is and I don't want to waste my time or my energy on emotions that harm the health of my soul.
So what are some of the strategies we need to put in place in our lives when we feel those waves of envy rising in our hearts snuffing out the fire and passion we have for life and godliness?
Speak to your soul: You need to speak to your own heart. Remind yourself of James 3:16 that says; "For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice." Jealousy will bring the worst out of you. Look at yourself in the mirror and remind that image before you that jealousy will turn you into a bitter and ugly human being. It is not worth it!
Be content in your own skin: Don't compare yourself with others and don't try to compete. Be happy with who you are and with what you have. Proverbs 14: 30 says: "A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot." Have you ever been around a tranquil person? It is truly amazing to be in their company. They don't have selfish ambitions, they don't have envy, they are merely content in their skin. They have nothing to prove. You will appear your most beautiful when you are your most tranquil. Feelings of jealousy and envy grow when we are only aware of another persons blessings and not aware of our own.
Do Not Feed your Jealousy: If a particular person is causing feelings of envy, quit following them on social media. Don't feed your jealousy, pour water on those flames so that they die.
Pray for Love: Yes, I know it is difficult, but the Bible encourages us to love others. 1 Corinthians 13:4 says; "Love is patient and kind, love does not envy or boast: it is not arrogant." Ask god to replace those feeling of envy with love. I guarantee you that you will feel like a new and healthy person on the inside.
Make a Decision to Quit Envy: Make a cold, calculated decision to put jealousy and envy behind you. Jealousy does not make for nice people!
Trust in the Lord: Yes, put your trust in the Lord. I know this might sound trite, but trust is precisely what is lacking in the envious heart. Psalm 37:1-3 says; "Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness." Perhaps the person you envy is not an evil person, but like all of us they will soon fade. Life is short, don't waste your emotions on jealousy, give them away in generous love. Think of all the wonderful people in your life and lavish them with love.
My friend, jealousy and envy are harmful emotions. They need to be dealt a deathblow. Don't waste your life on feelings of envy and jealousy when there is so much living to do, so much love to give away, and so much kindness we can do for others.
Take your envy to Jesus and allow Him to fill your heart with love.
I am and always will be,
recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,