“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God”. -Galatians 5:19-21
Jealousy is one of the hardest emotions to control in our everyday lives. How do we put an end to envy?
When people think of jealousy, they sometimes get the proverbial of someone’s “new car”, or “new house” picture in their minds. Yet, jealousy can be much more complicated than that. Jealousy can involve any combination of things. We may be jealous of someone’s social/economic status; someone’s talents and abilities, family or loved ones, possessions, expensive new gadget, fame, money, cars, ideas, girlfriend/boyfriend, wife/husband, anatomic features, intelligence, recognition, entire life—anything!
With so many possible ways to become jealous, how can we overcome this? The truth is: It’s not easy.
Why is jealousy spiritually dangerous?
Jealousy can be a form of covetousness. Hebrews 13:5 states, “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ “This verse brings up other dangers related to covetousness: discontent and lack of thankfulness. When we turn to Him, God is our provider and He gives us what we need. Jealousy in essence says, “What God has given me is not enough!”
There is nothing wrong with asking God for things we need and want in prayer, but we should ask with the firm belief that God knows exactly what we need and want and will provide for us according to His will. Jealousy can turn life into a competition about who has the best, is the best, and can show off the most. This attitude pleases the god of this world (Satan), not the true God.
The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 6:8, “And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content” , Jealousy continually whispers to us, “God’s gifts are not good enough. You need/deserve/should have whatever you want in this life. “Being content with having our needs met in this life can go a long way in reminding us that this life is temporary and that the Kingdom of God is coming. Therefore, jealousy hinders the fruits of faithfulness and goodness.
So let’s make a change. How can we overcome jealousy?
Ask yourself these questions:
1.)Why am I not happy with my situation?
2.)What makes me think that if I received what I’m jealous about, things would be so much better?
3.)Are there things I see on TV that give me jealous thoughts?
4.)What do my eyes wander over that I may have to avoid in order to stop these thoughts?
Again, remember that God wants to bless us and give us wonderful gifts, but only gifts that won’t be harmful for us. All good gifts come from God (James 1:17), so gifts that are going to be negative to our lives must come from someone else. Jealous thoughts are usually easy to identify, but sometimes they can sneak right past our brain sensors and develop into a feeling of envy without us even knowing what happened.
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