It’s time to kill the monster.
Jealousy… aka the green-eyed monster… threatens us all. It’s an emotion everyone deals with occasionally. Its roots are insecurity, fear, self-doubt, or anxiety. Jealousy often emerges when someone achieves something you’ve wanted to achieve but haven’t. It can rear its ugly head when a person you dislike experiences success, or when he receives awards you think he doesn’t deserve.
The green-eyed monster is a thief. It robs us of healthy relationships. It distracts us from our God-given purpose. It steals our joy. No wonder the bible tells us in Proverbs 27:4 – “Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?” It is a powerful emotion with destructive potential. It must be killed.
How do we know if we’re struggling with jealousy?
If your default response to a person is negative… check your heart. Do they have something you wish you had? Money? Success? Good looks? (I’m sure you’re good-looking!) If you find yourself focusing on a person’s weaknesses and ignoring his or her strengths… you may be struggling with jealousy.
Inability to enjoy another person’s success
When the Pharisees saw the crowds flocking to Jesus instead of them… they were filled with jealousy. When a friend or a colleague or even a competitor experiences growth in their career, or success in their business, or joy in their marriage, what emotions do you feel and what thoughts cross your mind? If you feel threatened, or tempted to minimize their achievement, or find yourself thinking: “I’ll never be as good as they are” or “they don’t deserve it”… you may be struggling with jealousy
Contentment is not settling for less than God’s best; an excuse for sloppiness or laziness; a refusal to make appropriate changes in our attitude or behavior. Contentment is an internal satisfaction and peace independent of our external circumstances.
Most of us were not born content. How do I know? Laura and I raised 4 boys. When they were young, there was lots of crying and whining… and it wasn’t always the boys doing the crying and whining! If you’re finding it difficult to be thankful for what you do have instead of unthankful for what you don’t have… you may be struggling with jealousy.
So how do we kill the monster?
Say the words “I’m jealous of_________.” The first step toward freedom is admitting we’re imperfect, and owning our jealous feelings.
Ask God first to forgive us—and second to help us grow up. Jealousy is the playground of the immature. God can help us—if we’re willing—to kill the green-eyed monster.
Thank God for what’s good in our lives… a roof over our heads, food to eat, and a family that loves us. Regularly express gratitude for the beauty of fall colors, blue sky, and sunshine. Thank God for salvation, for the Holy Spirit, for the privilege of being a partner with Him in kingdom work. Appreciating life frees us from jealousy’s death-grip.
Acquire the habit of rejoicing in others’ success. The achievements of others don’t diminish our achievements. The world is big enough for all of us to succeed. Practice being happy when good things happen to other people, and jealousy will die.
The green-eyed monster is serious business. It is one of the “seven deadly sins.” Left unchecked, it has the potential to wipe out our future, to decrease our joy, and to mess up our relationships.
It’s time for us to kill the monster.