For years I have struggled with jealousy. Wow, that feels good to say. The moment I first noticed it was when I got really upset when I found out people whom I really liked were given an opportunity I wanted. Immediately I felt all kinds of ugly thoughts against these good, loving people. This was years ago, but sadly the feelings have come back multiple times for different people throughout the years.
No one notices. I smile and congratulate and listen as they talk about the ways God has blessed them. But inside, I want it to be me. Or, I don’t want it to be them. For a reason I don’t even understand, I don’t want people to have things I don’t want them to have. They’re only allowed to be blessed in ways I deem acceptable.
This is such an ugly sin. And I know, it’s a sinful attitude to have. But part of its ugliness is the private nature of the sin. No one knows it’s happening. No one sees your heart because outwardly you’re smiling and ‘liking’ their stuff on Facebook and Instagram. But inwardly, Satan is setting up shop, telling you that you deserve to have what they have. Telling you they don’t deserve it. Telling. You. Lies.
In the garden, Satan got to Eve by being a liar. He told Eve she wouldn’t die if she ate the fruit. We know the real story, though, and so did Eve. Still, she let Satan deceive her and ultimately she paid the consequences for the deception.
I know that Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). I know that he throws fiery darts (Ephesians 6:16). I know that he is walking around seeking to devour me (1 Peter 5:8). Unfortunately, I still let him into my heart, the most dangerous place for my enemy to reside.
So what are the cures for jealousy?
What can we do to combat this sin? It all goes back to my 3:17 journey. Seeking wisdom from above. Filling my heart with the things of God, allowing Him to take up all the room so that Satan doesn’t have a place.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
If I will put in pure thoughts about those with whom I struggle not to feel jealous, I will stop feeling as jealous. It won’t quit over night, but if I’m constantly putting in good thoughts, praying good thoughts, I’ll quit having negative ones.
If I will be peaceable not only with them, but with myself, I will find peace. And where there is peace, there is no room for jealousy. The verse preceding James 3:17 says, “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” I won’t be at peace if I’m stewing over others’ lives and accomplishments. If I will make peace with them and with myself, I will conquer these unrighteous feelings.
If I will be full of mercy, I will rid my heart of jealousy. A lot of the time, jealousy comes when someone gets something I don’t think they deserve. That’s when I have to be careful. Am I holding on to their past, forgiven faults? Do I want God to hold onto mine? Then I must be merciful in my thoughts toward them, forgiving them and wishing only the best for them.
If I will stop being hypocritical, I will be on the path to overcoming jealousy. As I said before, jealousy is a silent killer. It resides in my heart, but my appearance shows no signs of trouble. No symptoms of the deadly disease plaguing my soul. I must get rid of facades and hypocrisy to overcome this heart problem. I must admit the struggle, and be held accountable for these feelings, lest they bury themselves so deep that Satan is ultimately victorious over my soul.
I hope and pray that you do not struggle with jealousy, but no one but you may ever know. If this is something that plagues your heart, seek God’s wisdom to combat the sin. We know that in Jesus, all can be victors (1 Cor. 15:57). Don’t let Satan beat you, when the victory is already God’s! Instead, fight to keep him out of your heart. Be on guard, keeping the silent killer from ever taking root in your mind.