Jealousy is Bitter to the Tongue and Poison to the Soul: How to Combat and Be Content in This Battle

          I think it’s safe to say we have all at one time or another started a sentence with, “If only I had ________.”, or “If only I was more like _________.” I know I have started sentences off this way all too often and  it just reinforces feelings of self-pity and results in a wrecked self-esteem. Every time I find  myself comparing myself to someone else or to other people’s earthly possessions I am left with a bitter taste in my mouth. This way of feeling and thinking is very dangerous and  it hinders our ability to rejoice with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” In a book I recently read called, “Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions” by Lysa TerKeurst, she says, ” Isn’t it just like Satan to want to distract me from this? Satan is a liar who steals, kills, and destroys. He wants to steal my attention, kill my joy, and destroy my creative best by making me want what God has entrusted to someone else. In other words, it is a lie straight from Satan that I’d be happier and more content with someone else’s load. I wouldn’t. It may feel like I would, but feelings are tricky things.” These words are so true and as I have struggled with an envious and jealous spirit I know how easy it is to give in to this lie told and sold by Satan. I love this book because she  reminds her readers that God has entrusted YOU with the load He believes is best for you AT THAT TIME! It is important that we, as God’s children, trust Him in this and with a spirit of thanksgiving and joy. Although we know this, it can be hard to remember in the moment. However, I believe that through God’s word and a constant state of prayer we can accomplish being content in the load the Lord has graciously bestowed on us.
          Mark 7:20-23 says, ” And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him.  For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual  immorality, theft, murder, adultery,  coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.  All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” The words in quotations are in red signifying it was Jesus speaking. As you can see envy is listed in with evil things that defile a person. This is not a thought or an opinion, but something that is factual. Nothing good comes from being envious. James 4:2 says, “You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” Covering others, or being envious, causes us to fight! Do you see just how evil being envious or jealous of others is so dangerous? How it causes us to do the very opposite of rejoicing with our brothers or sisters in Christ?!?! Might we turn from these feelings and cling to God. Colossians 3:12-16  says, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
          Might I pray for you, my brothers and sisters in Christ (and myself of course)? Dear Lord, I want to thank you for your word and your precious holy spirit which you have placed inside each and every single one of your children. I pray that you would place in us a spirit of conviction concerning this issue and that you would help us to run to you every time these feelings of envy and jealousy seem to creep up on us. May you give us a spirit of contentment and peace with the load that you have placed upon us and may we have a joyful and thankful spirit. May we trust in your wisdom and know that you are a gracious, loving, kind, generous and good God. Help us to trust in these truths and know that you have great and wonderful things in store for us, your children. God I pray that you might help us to keep your word in our hearts and stay in a continual prayerful mindset so that we might be able to quickly turn our eyes and thought a back upon you when we feel the envy and jealousy coming up in us. We thank you for your word and for loving us so unconditionally and so graciously. We are so unworthy but we are so thankful for your abounding grace.”
          So, it is obvious that envy and jealousy are a real struggle, especially with us women, but with prayer and the word of God we can learn to be content in what the Lord has bestowed upon us. Philippians 4:11-13 says, ” Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Might we learn to be more like Paul, seeking our strength in God and learning to be content in both abundance and need. It is not an easy task, but as Paul said, “I can do ALL THINGS THROUGH HIM WHO STRENGTHENS ME!”

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