Jealousy has been an ongoing battle for me. I know it’s not godly. In the midst of my struggle, people around me seem to be flourishing. And although I’m fairly happy for them, I am also insecure and jealous. What do I do?
Answered by: May c. | CO, USA
It seems to me that jealousy is a common temptation for all of us! No matter how our lives are going at any particular moment, we can almost always think of something more that we desire but don’t have. When we are tempted to envy others and throw ourselves a pity party, we need to force our minds to think on the truths of the Gospel!
First, identify jealousy as sin. The Bible says that envy is “rottenness to the bones” (Prov. 14:30) and a characteristic of sinful unbelievers. (See Romans 1:29 and Titus 3:3.) When you envy others, you are acting in unbelief and pride, believing that God does not care about you and will not keep His promises.
Second, if you have sinned by being envious of others, confess your sin and repent of it. Trust our gracious God to forgive you and wash you from your unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 says that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us. Even if you don’t feel cleansed or forgiven, let me urge you to believe the truth of God’s Word.
Third, set yourself on guard against future temptation. Regularly ask the Lord to build your resistance to jealousy and to remind you of His tender care for you. Choose to be a believer of His promises. The truth is that God does not withhold any good thing from His children. (See Psalm 84:11.) This is a great verse to memorize to help you fight the battle against envious feelings!
answered by: Abigail C. | CO, USA
I can certainly understand the feeling! But it is important to remember that jealousy is simply self on the throne of the heart and it springs out of a misplaced trust. I have found in my own life that jealousy can only arise when I turn my gaze from the Lord Jesus and begin putting my faith in something else to bring satisfaction, contentment, joy, and growth. When my affections and hope are firmly set upon the Lord alone, I am able to rejoice with others wholeheartedly when good things happen in their lives. When I choose to trust the good nature of my God, I can rest securely in His promise that He withholds no good thing from those who walk uprightly. (See Psalm 84:11.) If something is being withheld, then my Father knows best what is good, and I surrender my own ideas of what “good” in my life should look like. (Note: If there is a promise clearly given in His Word that we are not experiencing but someone we know is — such as victory over sin — in that instance, we are to go after that promise in bold faith until it is realized.)
Over and over I have found that the plans He has for me are so much better than what I think He should do, even though it often looks different from how He worked things out in someone else’s life. My encouragement would be to repent. He will forgive and cleanse. Then lay your life freshly before the Lord in surrender and set your heart to follow after and delight in Him. Rehearse the goodness of God as we see it revealed in His Word and as you’ve seen it shown in your life. When we remember who God is and what He has done and thank Him for it, jealousy has no opportunity to settle into our hearts. Our perspective has been properly shifted to God Himself, and we can rejoice in what He is doing in the lives of those around us — as well as in what He has done and is continuing to do in ours.