For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. - James 3:16
To deny we struggle with jealousy is to deny the sin that lives in our hearts. The reality is we all struggle with it at some point in our lives. We all look at another person’s life and wish it was ours. It’s a subtle sin, and often goes overlooked, but we can find it if we look a little deeper.
Perhaps we struggle in our marriage, or desire to be married, so we envy the way a friend is loved by their spouse. We struggle financially or we just make ends meet, so we covet our neighbor’s financial freedom as they enjoy exotic vacations and fine entertainment. We hate our job or we never got that degree we wanted, so we long for the fulfilling career of someone we know. We live with conflict in our family or we don’t enjoy strong friendships, so we deeply desire the loving community displayed in photos on our newsfeed. Our children are a constant source of concern, so we wish to be the parent of adoring and responsible children. We envy everything - her curly hair, his height, her weight, his athletic ability, her house, his car. The list is endless, but it exists for each one of us. There’s no denying we struggle with jealousy.
The problem with jealousy is that it is self-focused and self-righteous. It denies the grace that God has given us as it looks on another’s life in envy. When you are struggling with jealousy, you believe you deserve what another person has - you are focused on yourself and you elevate yourself to a righteous place believing you have a right to what you desire. Jealousy puts us at the center of the universe, and claims we are the most important. We want what we want and we think we deserve it. Jealousy is expectant and demanding. When we are wrapped up in jealous emotions, we begin to question God’s wisdom. He doesn’t know best, we do. When we don’t get what we ask for, we question His goodness and get frustrated that this is our lot in life. Jealousy causes us to long for something we don’t have, so we’re not longing for God. When we’re questioning God’s wisdom and His goodness, we stop turning to Him for help. It’s spiritual disaster.
The reality is that we don’t deserve anything. We have a gracious and loving God who chases after us, trying to draw our focus to Him so that we might experience His goodness. Jealous focuses our attention on what we don’t have, but grace focuses our attention on what we do. He has abundantly blessed each one of us with exactly what we need and what we deserve. Shift your focus, and discover how truly blessed you really are.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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