The Cure to Jealousy
The greed for more, that drive to possess, has trapped and destroyed human beings since the very beginning.
Jealousy isn’t new
Eve’s desire for what she didn’t have led to the first sin in Genesis 2. In Genesis 4, jealousy led her son Cain to murder his brother Abel. Jealousy was the root of the strife between sisters, Rachel and Leah (Genesis 30). Jealously caused their children to sell their own brother, Joseph, into slavery (Genesis 37). Mark 15:10 tells us that it was jealousy that led the chief priests to hand Jesus over to be crucified. Then, it was the jealousy of the Jews and religious leaders that led to the persecution of the apostles (Acts 5:17, 13:45).
Jealousy isn’t new, but it’s just as powerful now as it was in the stories of the Bible. Jealousy divides and destroys relationships between friends, spouses, siblings, and co-workers. Jealousy causes A LOT of damage, so how do we avoid being jealous?
Here are three ways the Bible shows us to steer clear of the power of jealousy:
1. Stop comparing
When Peter was discontent with his lot, he looked at John and asked, “Lord, what about this man?” (John 21:21) Our tendency is the same. Instead of gratefully accepting all that the Lord gives us, we look around, comparing our gifts, but Jesus tells Peter, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” We are responsible to God alone for what He has entrusted us with. Don’t compare, just follow Him where He is asking you to go.
2. Celebrate other’s gifts
Instead of seeing God’s good gifts to other people as a threat to what He has given you, let it encourage you and remind you that our God is good and gives good gifts to his children (Matthew 7:11). Our God owns everything! When He graciously provides someone else a good gift, remind yourself that God doesn’t have any less to give and celebrate His goodness to all of his children!
3. See everything as a gift from God
It’s hard to remember that God is the reason for your paycheck when it has your name on it. Or, it’s difficult to remind yourself that God provided that meal when you just picked it up from the grocery store. James writes, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change”(1:17). Take every opportunity to see God’s good gifts to you throughout your day and celebrate His goodness!