What Should I Do When I Feel Jealousy Creep into My Life?
I wish I could say that I've felt more of the righteous kind of jealousy. But the truth is, the quality of mine has mostly been as Paul described. The emotions that unrighteous jealousy stirs up can be easy to defend and hard to shake. But there is a way out. Though it's uncomfortable, exploring when and why it happens can help diffuse it.
I've learned that negative jealousy starts with comparing, a bad habit of mine. Whether it's about someone else's house, job or personality, comparing always leaves me in second place. Doing that also blinds me to the blessings I've been given, and makes me listen to the lie that God cares less about me than others.
Jealousy still hits on occasion, and still stings. But I'm learning how to recognize it earlier and stand against it. The times when I've been most successful are when I follow a short process:
- I name jealousy for what it is, being aware of the thought quickly and stating it honestly.
- I admit my jealousy, owning it as my own feeling and not blaming anyone else.
- I turn to God in prayer, bringing my jealousy into His light instead of keeping it tucked away.
- I ask for forgiveness and help to combat my jealousy, letting God clean my heart and fight my battle.
- I let go of the jealousy, placing my focus on being more thankful and content with what God has provided for me.
- I pray for the person or situation that has triggered the jealousy, lifting requests for God to work things out for His best.
I've had to take those steps over and over again, and they can be challenging. But every time I do, jealousy's grip on me slackens, and my attitudes toward God and other people soften.
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