Responding to Jealousy

“Jealousy will get you nowhere, Lindsey.”  I can’t count the number of times my dad said this to me when I was a child.  Most of the time it was him teasing me of being jealous of him for beating me at something like basketball.  As I grew older, the words continually rang in my own head.

Last week, while in a ladies bible study at church, we were given a list of 100 questions that we would use to interview a partner with whom we were matched.  The group of about 25 ladies consisted of some in their early 20s to those in their 70s.  These partnerships would be comprised of one “younger” lady and one “older” lady, each able to take something away from the interview.

At this introduction class, we were asked to pick one of the questions to answer to the group.  Put on the spot, I was first.  As I quickly skimmed the list, question number 10 was the one that jumped out at me.

How have you responded to jealousy over the years?  Have you ever been jealous of someone else?  Has someone else ever been jealous of you?

Before I jump into my answers, I want to share the definition of jealous from dictionary.com

jealous

[jeluh s] 
  1. feeling resentment against someone because of that person’s rivalry,success, or   advantages (often followed by of):  He was jealous of his rich brother.
  2. feeling resentment because of another’s success, advantage, etc.(often followed by of): He was jealous of his brother’s wealth.
  3. characterized by or proceeding from suspicious fears or envious resentment: a   jealous rage; jealous intrigues.
  4. inclined to or troubled by suspicions or fears of rivalry, unfaithfulness,etc., as in   love or aims: a jealous husband.

Have you ever been jealous of someone else?

The first thing that came to my mind was, if you are a woman and you claim that you’ve never been jealous of anyone, you’re lying!  🙂  Jealousy is one weapon that the enemy constantly uses again us women.  And why wouldn’t he?  We make it so easy for him sometimes.  He enters the minds of mothers and tell us that we aren’t good enough, that we can’t handle our children like other moms can.  He comes at young girls and says that they aren’t beautiful enough or they aren’t thin enough or you name it.  Any of the desires of the fleshly world, the enemy will use in his favor to make us doubt God and His power.  Envy, one of the seven deadly sins is used as a synonym to jealousy.  I don’t know about you, but I’d like to try to stay as far away as possible from any of the deadly sins.  The bible also tells us in Proverbs 14:30, “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.”

 

How have you responded to jealousy over the years?

For me, maturity has just been the biggest change in the way I’ve dealt with jealousy.  I think that most women can say that.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to accept myself more for who I am and not who I think I should be according to what this world says I should be.  As I mature in life and in my faith, I’m able to seek God’s words to help my respond to jealousy as well as finding support in my friends on dealing with situations where jealousy sneaks in.  Can I just quote Sweet Brown?  “Ain’t nobody got time fo dat!”  I have so many other important things to devote my time to than trying to be someone else.  That’s one of the biggest lessons that motherhood has taught me.~

sweet brown

I also think that it’s super important to realize that especially as women, God made us who we are for a reason.  To show jealousy of our peers is basically questioning God’s plan for us.  We go through trials for a reason and we should seek Him during those times.  That’s what He wants us to do.  He has great plans for us even though we may go through trials and tragedies.  What we go through makes us who we are.  We’re not meant to be someone else.  The events we endure prepare us for other situations in life where we can use those lessons to help others do the same.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.”  Jeremiah 29:11-12 ESV

So rather than trying to be someone I’m not and wasting hours, days, even months and years of my life, I am now able to step back look at myself and find the things I do like and then strive to be the biblical woman that God calls all of us to be.

Has someone else ever been jealous of you?

If you’re not sure what the answer is to this question for you is, it’s probably yes.  Think about all of the times you’ve been jealous of someone else.  I guarantee someone has been jealous of you.

As the mother of three girls, the drama starts so early.  My oldest has told me of times when other girls were copying her or want to wear their hair like hers, the list goes on.  If you’re a mom, I’m sure this has happened to you.  While I tell her that imitation is the best form of flattery and that she should take this as a compliment (to a certain extent), it’s also VERY important for me to teach all of my daughters that they should be themselves and strive to be the best version of that, not the best version of someone else.  The best way to do that is to be the example.  It’s so scary how early Satan enters our minds and tells us as little girls that we aren’t enough.

I pray that I can set an example in the issue of jealousy and they are able to learn by watching me and not just by listening to me.  Friends of mine walk beside me every day and raise their daughters and for that I am thankful.  I know that I can trust them to help me raise my children in this battle with the enemy.

I’m not a perfect woman, mother, friend, wife, Christian, but I can hold fast to the truth that following Jesus can put me on a trajectory in the right direction.  I hope that you have found these words helpful to you in your season of life.


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