A few weeks ago I was engaged in a conversation when I noticed something alarming in my heart. Something someone said about another person sparked an ugly internal reaction in me. For a moment I was aware of the devilish feeling of jealousy. And I hated it. I confessed it to God and readjusted my thinking, but it sobered me. Jealous was something I didn’t want to be! In a split second, envy stole my joy and shut down my love. That’s how horrible it is. When it enters us, it quickly changes us for the worse.
Jealousy sneaks up on us. It slips in, unnoticed, when we hear or see something about someone else that challenges our personal security and lot in life. We then start comparing ourselves with others. Envy reminds us that we have been dealt a bad hand, gotten the short end of the stick, and are missing out on something we’re entitled to.
Usually our comparisons with others focus around 5 things:
- Appearance — someone looks better than you.
- Achievement — someone accomplished more than you did.
- Attention and acknowledgement — someone was noticed when you were ignored or overlooked.
- Advantages — someone has advantages that you didn’t get.
- Acquisitions — someone has “stuff” you don’t have.
When you begin the comparison process, you invite the spirit of jealousy into your soul. When it arrives it robs! It steals your joy and shuts down your love. Jealousy makes you miserable! It sours you. It spills over into your relationships and you soon find yourself criticizing, judging, belittling, and gossiping about the people you’re jealous of. Jealousy closes you off to people. It gives you permission to have a big personal pity party!
The Bible reminds us that “love is not jealous!” (See 1 Corinthians 13:4.) Love combats jealousy. Love resists and rebukes envy. Love says, “I will not allow this thief into my life, and when I see it in me, I’ll evict it immediately!”
Declare war on envy. Be grateful for and secure in the love God has for you. Openly rejoice in the blessings that come to others. Don’t give the spirit of jealousy any place in your life. Practice love!