How to break the hold jealousy has on your life
From Genesis: A 7-Week Devotional
When you have siblings, growing up is a constant battle of who can get the best of the other one. Whether it’s whose turn it is to ride in the front seat, whose turn it is to take out the trash, or who gets to choose what movie to watch, everything between siblings is a competition, an opportunity to one-up each other.
Given how siblings squabble over insignificant things, imagine how upset Esau must have been when he realized Jacob had bested him and conned their father, Isaac, into giving Esau’s blessing to Jacob. Esau traded his birthright to Jacob years before, but it became official when Isaac blessed Jacob.
Esau gets so angry he fails to see his own wrong in giving away his birthright in the first place. Like Esau, when we allow jealous anger to get the better of us, we put all the attention on what someone else has done to us instead of taking responsibility for our own actions.
When we’re consumed with jealous anger, we share how we were wronged with anyone who will listen, ignoring God’s commands not to gossip or slander (Ephesians 4:29, Proverbs 16:28). It no longer matters that revenge is the Lord’s because he or she “deserves” it (Romans 12:19). Our ability to forgive becomes overshadowed by our desire to see the other person pay.
We can get even or we can get God’s peace, but we can’t get both.
When jealous anger takes over our lives, it allows the sin that hurt us to begin to control us.
We break the power of jealous anger through confession and repentance. Confessing our sin doesn’t condone the wrong that was done to us. Confession is bringing our feelings and our mistakes to the Lord and asking Him to make things right. We then repent by leaving our desire for revenge in God’s hands.
Repentance makes us right with God and allows us to experience His peace. Because as Esau shows us: We can get even or we can get God’s peace, but we can’t get both.
- Has anyone ever taken something that belonged to you? How did you feel?
- Have you ever given yourself permission to do something you know is wrong, because the other person deserved it?
- Is there any sin you need to confess today, or is there anyone you need to forgive today?