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Archive for January, 2016

Destructiveness of Jealousy

jealousy-quote

 

     Cain killed Abel because of it… Joseph’s brothers sold him into a life of slavery because of it… Sarah sent Hagar and her son to die in the wilderness because of it… Rachel and Leah talked their husband into an immoral practice of surrogate mothers because of it… These are just a few examples of jealousy.

Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy? – Proverbs 27:4

     Envy starts with desire – wanting something you can’t have. It might start with self-comparison or continue to thrive with competitiveness, but always ends with hatred, insecurity, and destruction.

But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. – James 3:14-16

     Jealousy is ugly! It could be wishing for a better job, a better body, more recognition, more appreciation, a higher status, popularity, or even love. Someone has that “thing”, you think they don’t deserve and you do, one feeling leads to another… and before you know it you have started down the dark path of jealousy.

For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge. – Proverbs 6:34

     It feels like a war is raging in your heart and mind. You know it’s wrong, but feel powerless against it. Thoughts like “Why do they get all the attention?” or “Why does the world seem to constantly revolve around them?” or “Why does it seem so easy for them?” take over your mind. Sometimes it could be thinking that someone is better looking, happier, wealthier, or more gifted.

     Soon everything that person does, no matter how small, innocent, or insignificant is like a punch in the gut to you. Your mind twists everything into an affront. You can’t stand to be around them and eventually end up hating them. The ironic thing is: the majority of the time the person has no idea! You are only hurting yourself!

A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot. – Proverbs 14:30

     You have to figure out a way to let it go. If you can learn to be happy with yourself and the way God created you, that’s a step in the right direction. God has given us all gifts and things that make us unique. YOU can touch a life that no one else is able to reach.

     Always wishing you were like someone else or to have what someone else has will never bring joy to your life, only pain.

     I’ve experienced these things too in the past… Jealousy, insecurity, anger, and even hatred. These are horrible feelings! My reaction was to crawl back into my shell and pretend the world doesn’t exist. Guess what? That doesn’t work, because the world is still there every time you wake up in the morning. My other reaction was to put up walls to protect myself from relationships. Guess what? That makes things worse AND I just end up feeling alone and depressed.

     Somehow, like the verse in Proverbs, you have to replace that envy with peace. Do you want life? Or will you let yourself rot?

     Peace – what a perfect way to combat covetousness. It can lead to being content with who you are and what you have, no matter what!

     When you think about it, life never really turns out the way you expected it would, but is that a reason to walk around in a perpetual state of unhappiness? I love that saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Truthfully, though, I have a very pessimistic personality and have a really difficult time making lemonade out of lemons! My mantra would sound more like this saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

     Yup, I would rather run away when things get too hard. You can’t do that though, none of us can. As much as I would love to go live on a deserted island sometimes, it’s not reality. Reality is facing your struggles and growing from them.

 

Prayer and love, even for those you see as your “enemies” is the answer. Also, a heart full of unending gratefulness will change you. It absolutely won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. You owe it to yourself. It will bring the healing that you desperately need right now.

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