“Jealousy! The green-eyed monster.” I think we call it the “GREEN-EYED” monster because of the phrase “green with envy!” If you say you never deal with jealousy, I just find that very hard to believe. We are all sinners and we fall short of glory and it is my belief, if you don’t think you deal with jealousy in some sort of fashion, you are VERY DECEIVED!
1 Corinthians 3:3, “For you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?” Even if we are Christians, we still deal with the “flesh”. Jealousy is a temptation in our lives and something we, I believe, need to pay attention to and not think we have this area all sewed up in our lives. Jealousy is sneaky, very sneaky. It hides and masks as other things, and it is not pretty. That is why it is very hard to “peel the onion” in our own lives and score out the monster. Scripture teaches us in Proverbs 14:30 that “envy makes the bones rot!!” and in James 3:14 it states, “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be FALSE to the truth.”
In my opinion jealousy is most easily seen in women, especially young and maturing girls! I am so thankful to have a daughter, who I now call a “best friend,” even though I still wear my mother’s hat many times. My motto, “Once a mother always a mother”. With that being said, we have had long discussions about jealousy: a) being jealous and b) being the victim of jealousy. Both are horrible and Major areas that God is continuing to give victory to both of us, especially as we look intently into the mirror of our own lives and invite God there too. The best way I think to address, and really want God to purge me/her/you and expose jealousy in our own lives, is to be on the “receiving end of jealousy!” In Proverbs 27:4 it states, “Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but WHO CAN STAND BEFORE JEALOUSY?” Basically it is saying here, jealousy is painful, horrible, and that wrath and anger are cruel, but jealousy TRUMPS both! WOW!!! Yep, jealousy is a monster. If you (and most people have) have ever been on the receiving end, you know it is excruciating and hard to fathom. Once you have experienced the pain of jealousy, you can ask yourself, “Hey if this feels so terrible and painful, is there a possibility that I have ever been jealous and caused this pain to someone else?” Maybe you were so “blind” to your jealousy that you didn’t even realize you “caused pain?” Regardless of whether you think you have or not, why not examine and ask God to show you?
I can remember coming home from winning South Carolina’s Junior Miss when I was a senior in high school. The next morning outside my window was a “dummy of me on fire and hanging in a tree!” Jealousy? Yes…painful yes! I so remember my sister driving a new car to high school only to come out after school to find that someone had put a “live chicken” in her car for the day. It destroyed the inside of her car. Jealousy? Yes! painful…of course..…these are just a few of the examples in my own life that I have used to teach our kids of my own experience and helped me to identify with them..in their pain and also warn them what it can create in them if it goes unchecked and unconfessed. Social Media today is a breeding ground that fertilizes jealousy……..passive aggressive behavior…blatant exclusion……and people can seemingly hide and say anything they please…but in reality in person it would be another story…the “implied” is real……..the suttle jealousy is glaring……..
Living in the “Back 9” of life I can promise you one thing, If you sincerely ask God to show you something such as “sin” in your own life, HE WILL!!!! That is the best place to start. He desires for us to be more like HIM everyday so…YES…He will show you! Ask HIM to show you if you have the “slimy green monster in the crevices of your life!” Most people do if they are honest..with themselves and God.
The best antidote to jealousy is an “inward focus”. I am NOT at all talking about self-centeredness but looking inward and asking God to reveal your heart, to show you your uniqueness and talents. Also asking HIM to help you to be “sincerely happy” for someone who has success, more success than you, etc. He desires for us to have a “heart for others” and, if we desire it, HE will give it to us. By taking an “inward” approach it takes your eyes off of others and allows you to become responsible for your behavior…that is what you are in control of and will be held accountable for by God. Remember…God looks at the heart…our inner self…not just outward behavior…:) Scripture teaches out of the “over flow of the heart the mouth speaks.”
With competitive golf, school, job, relationships…you name it……. I have truly purposed and asked God to help me be sincerely happy when others succeed, especially ahead of my kids. He has been faithful to move my heart in that direction. It didn’t just come naturally, I had to ask for it. And then guard my heart with Scripture to fight the temptation to let Satan whisper in my ear the alternative like, she doesn’t deserve this or he works harder, he deserves……… When you are a Christian and seeking to do the right thing, that is when temptation comes the strongest. That is when Satan wants to defeat and gain ground back, because being truly happy for someone else goes against our nature. I have come to the realization that if Christ never gave me another thing in life, I should be grateful and content, like Paul says in Philippians 4:11, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” Being content in Christ has come with PURPOSED INTENTION. Meaning I have hungered for it and sought it out.
I don’t want “rotten bones” and I don’t want my kids’ bones to “rot”. I don’t believe anyone reading this journal wants “rotten bones” either. I encourage you to go hunting for the “GREEN-EYED MONSTER”. It is not animated. It is REAL, and it lives underneath almost everyone’s roof and is a real temptation cast by Satan to all………. Jealousy destroys…relationships and separates us from God and His best for us…..ask Him today to reveal and Kill the monster that is lurking……He is faithful to honor that sincere prayer.