Do you ever find yourself getting jealous? Maybe it’s because your co-worker just got that pay raise you were secretly dreaming for. Or it’s possibly because your neighbor has a child that is more well behaved than yours? Oh, what if your significant other seems to be pouring their attention into other members of the opposite sex?
God forbid on that last one. I’m not even in a relationship and I’m thinking “She better not be talkin’ to another dude!” It’s honestly amazing how defensive we can be over the things we want or have.
Jealousy is healthy, right?
There are times when this jealousy is justified in our minds; specifically speaking, relationships. If we’re in one we obviously don’t want our significant other running off and playing hooky with other people, right? I mean, that’s just common sense. To a degree, though, a human’s tendency to be jealous is rooted in insecurity.
We all have them. We all struggle with them. On a specific level, all of us think we’re failures at something. Most of us believe that we do or don’t deserve something we do or don’t have.
So, what’s the big deal, then?
Insecurity is cancer because it breeds mistrust, pride, and strife.
There’s a reason why, in I Corinthians 13, Paul says that “Love does not envy.” Paul very much knew the damage that envy could have and so he exhorted his readers to embrace a kind of love that strays from jealousy.
I don’t believe Paul was only saying “Real love doesn’t get upset when your boyfriend/girlfriend is doing something that makes you feel threatened.” I often forget that people in that day and age didn’t date. What an easier way of life that must have been!
I do believe, however, that Paul was speaking to a group of people who were under intense amounts of persecution due to their religious beliefs. Paul was presenting an idea of love that ran counter to what their culture was preaching and living. In the previous verses, he called his readers to be patient and kind despite what people around were doing to them.
The reason he says don’t be envious is because it is far too easier to get wrapped up in our struggles and become jealous of someone else’s perceived blessing. The grass is greener on the other side, right? Wrong.
Here’s the cure:
True love does not feel threatened over a co-worker being promoted. True love does not feel threatened when success comes to a loved one. True love does not believe that “I would be happier if only I had what they had.”
True love rejoices with others when they succeed. True love is content with the life that they have been blessed with. True love does not demand, it sacrifices.
True love is grateful and content with what it already has.
There are many days where my natural inclination is to desire that which someone else has. I want to be popular. I want success. I want more. Is that love, though? Is that showing gratefulness to the Lord for what he has given me? Absolutely not!
If you find yourself envying other people in your life, I would genuinely encourage you to evaluate what you do have. Ultimately, envy roots itself in pride and says we deserve that specific thing. Humility says that we don’t deserve anything but are grateful for what God has given us.
We also can’t expect to live this kind of life without first realizing the immense display of love that Jesus has given us. The Bible says that God is jealous for our soul. The difference between his jealousy and ours is that ours is rooted in sinfulness. He is jealous for you because he knows that he is what’s best. He sent His son to die on the cross to atone for your sins, something that we did not deserve and then conquered death three days later by rising from the dead. And even though we constantly reject him, he rejoices when our hearts turn back to him.
Simply said, an attitude of gratitude keeps the perspective in check.
Here are 3 quick takeaways for today:
1.) Real love rejoices with others even when we don’t feel like it.
2.) The cure for jealousy is gratitude
3.) You can’t do it on your own. This kind of love comes from a knowledge of the Lord’s love for you.
I hope you all are having a great week so far. If not, is there anything I can do to help? Let me know in the comments! Happy end-of-Wednesday!