Who likes to admit that they struggling with jealousy?
We all want to seem as though we are completely content and only trying to be a better version of the person we were the day before. Alas, life isn’t always like that. We do not exist in a vacuum; people with prettier faces, better lives and greater gifts surround us. When life is going amazingly well and everything is working out ‘for our good’, the fact that those around us may have better lives than us tends to fade into the background because our incredible lives are centre stage. Unfortunately, life is full of storms, cycles, challenges and seasons. Once things begin to crash and burn around us (why am I so dramatic?!) it’s harder to clap for those around us as they rush towards their goals and leave us behind; it is harder to love those who appear to be doing so much better than us, it is harder to support those living out a dream you felt belonged to you alone.
This summer has been great, I’ve done many weird and wonderful things and I am honestly blown away when I think about where I was in April in comparison to where I am now. In April, life became full of uncertainty, sadness and fear. I didn’t lose my job in the conventional way most do (I’ll divulge all the gory details another time) I lost my job in a slow and painful way (which still makes me feel a little sick when I think about it). During that time of uncertainty, I forgot who my Rock was. You see, at the end of last year God revealed that the coming year would not be easy. He even gave me a scripture:
But the rock of our enemies is not like our Rock, as even they recognise.
I was well aware that there was a storm brewing but because life was so good, I put the scripture on the back burner and kept living my life like it was golden.
The whole ‘lovin life’ came to an abrupt halt just after my 22nd birthday. It also felt as though just as my life began to fall apart, everyone else’s lives began to fall together. While I was in my wilderness, my homies were partying in the Promise Land, eager to tell me about how great it was and how grateful they were because God had blessed them so much. Although I was happy for them, there was a part of me that couldn’t handle their happiness. I was jealous because on some level, I felt like I deserved some of what they were getting. I was jealous because I felt as though I was being left behind. My life looked so foggy and unsure my stomach couldn’t help but churn when I heard about all the great things they were achieving. In the beginning I could brush it under the carpet and praise God with them but by the end of my downward spiral, whenever I heard amazing news all I could think was: REMEMBER ME TOO, GOD.
There should be no competition or jealousy because the Giver of all gifts loves us all equally. Jealousy stopped me from seeing, and it almost stopped me from being able to fully appreciate the wonderful things my friends were doing. It kept me from remembering that the same God that had blessed my friends would bless me in His own way and in His own time.
I was –
I was afraid. I couldn’t see the plan at work and I couldn’t see God in my situation so I lost faith that things would work out of my good. I stopped looking at the Creator and looked at those he had created.
If I truly believed in our amazing God, if I believed that He was working things out for my good and in His time, I would not have been filled with jealousy, I would have been filled with faith.
Jealousy has the power to ruin relationships – I believe jealousy becomes resentment and resentment eventually becomes hatred. Did I want to hate my friends? OF COURSE NOT.
So how do we combat jealousy?
When that thought comes into your mind, when that feeling begins to rest on your heart..
Pray about it
Don’t wait for night-time prayer and don’t wait for the next day to say a quick prayer of repentance. As soon as you feel that feeling wandering into your being, ask God to renew your faith in Him, ask Him to increase your confidence and ask Him to help you focus on how amazing He is instead of how amazing your friends’ lives seem.
2) Change your perspective
The past week has really revealed how blessed I am even though I am still not where I hoped I would be, and I still have no idea how I am going to get to the place that I want to be. I have been exposed to a different life: a life where your health, your actions and your thoughts are often outside of your control, a life where your opportunities are capped from the time you are born, a life where physical and mental health issues rule every single day you will ever experience. This week reminded me that even on my worst day, when everything is falling apart, there is someone crying for the things I am begging for God to change. This realisation humbled me; even when I don’t feel as though God is blessing me, I have to remember that I am still blessed.
All my loving,