How to Deal With Jealousy and Envy
What is jealousy?
Jealousy is an emotion that perceives something that is already yours is in danger of being possessed by someone else.
For example, a wife may feel jealous if another woman is flirting with her husband.
The wife rightfully has feelings of jealousy because of the threat that another woman is pursuing her husband.
In Exodus 34:14 We learn that one of God’s names is Jealous. In this context, He rightfully did not want the Israelites worshipping other gods.
When we think about jealousy, we are most likely thinking about the issue of envy.
Envy is when you desire something that is NOT rightfully yours such as your friend’s house, spouse, career, car, etc.
Envy is a sin because one of the 10 commandments tells us not to covet.
Sometimes jealousy and envy are used synonymously. For the purpose of this blog, we will use these terms interchangeably.
Envy can cause insecurity, negative thoughts, anger, bitterness, and resentment.
Our emotions are normal and have the purpose of relaying messages to us but are not always reliable.
This is because our perception is limited and cannot be completely trusted.
We do not see or know everything going on in the background of someone’s life.
No One Has it All
Anytime I catch myself being jealous or envious of someone, down the line something is revealed that makes me rethink.
This can either be an area that they are struggling with that I do not struggle with or obstacles they have experienced in order to achieve that very thing I am jealous about.
Only God knows everyone’s full story.
A classmate may be popular in school but is being completely ignored by their parents at home.
Meanwhile, you live in a loving home with fully attentive parents.
The same person you are jealous of can be jealous of your life.
How to Overcome Jealousy
1. Change Your Perspective
You have to desire God more than anything on this earth.
Earthly possession such as titles, degrees, money, and careers have to stay behind on this earth.
What truly matters is the impact we made here and our eternal destiny.
Everyone has a specific purpose for their life that is unique from everyone else's.
Do not focus so much on the short-term things that will make you happy temporarily, but focus on the long-term values of life.
2. Disconnect to Reconnect
Where is the source of envy coming from?
Television, social media, or your peers?
Sometimes you have to disconnect from things that are constantly making you jealousy in order to reconnect with God.
I have realized that sometimes God can use jealousy to draw you closer to Him.
Only God can fulfill the desires of your heart but you have to pursue Him first and foremost.
For example, you may feel slightly jealous of your friend’s parents because you feel as though they let your friend do what they want.
God can use your feelings of jealousy toward your friend to draw you closer to Him, give you a different outlook on life, and fulfill the desires of your heart.
3. Detox and Refill
Take a social media detox and write down what is really important to you in life and why.
Do you just want that big house because it can truly benefit you and your family or because you saw how nice it looked on Instagram?
Check your motives.
Have you considered the responsibility of what you covet may bring?
Not everything is as perfect as it seems.
Write down things that you are grateful for in this season.
Although you may feel discontent with where you are at in life, realize that some of the most important things are not material.
It is not about one-upping the next person but realizing everyone’s journey is different and imperfect.
Be Secure in You!
If you are struggling with insecurity, jealousy is an emotion that will occur no matter what.
Click the link to read more on how to overcome insecurity.
You have to be secure in the person God made you to be, in your strengths, and your gifts to realize it is okay that other people have what you do not have.
We are not all meant to be the same!