Jealousy is something that we all face from time to time. One of our Moms from our Community has been brave enough to share her struggle with us. I’m sure we all can relate.
Today four of our ongoing Community Writers have responded to this struggle with empathy and encouragement.
Thank you for being here with us today and we would like to read your thoughts in the comments below.
I struggle to admit that I battle with jealousy – especially towards other women. When I see the Lord using another woman in a way that I long Him to use me, my initial reaction is not to rejoice in the fact that she is bringing Him glory. My mind’s natural response is to start comparing and measuring my gifts and talents against hers. I’ve recognized this about myself and am continually giving it to God, yet when these moments happen I find that jealousy is there lurking in the corners of my thoughts. I’ve talked to other women who struggle with this as well.
How do we come to, and maintain a place in our hearts where jealousy doesn’t entangle and hinder the joy and gratitude we should experience when we witness the Lord using our sisters in Christ for His glory?
Andrea Fortenberry Says,
I totally get where you are coming from, I sometimes feel this way myself. (Just a few weeks ago, in fact). But when I get to this place, I try to remember:
- God’s Goodness to Me: God knows me and loves me so much that He created me. When someone else has a great moment, I need to remember that it’s part of God’s plan for them and to celebrate with them. I trust that God has good plans that are just for me!
- To Trust God’s Timing: Philippians 1:6 (NLT) says, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work in you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
I trust that God would not have put desires and dreams into my heart without the intention to carry them out.
I am encouraged by the story of David: he was anointed king of Israel as a teenage shepherd. But he didn’t ascend to the throne that day; he went back to the fields to tend his sheep. His experience tending sheep prepared him for the battle with Goliath and for eventually becoming king. As I wait on God, I trust that He is preparing me for whatever is ahead.
- Encouraging Verses: Galatians 6:4 (MSG) is one of my favorites, “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” (Emphases mine.)
Remember that God sees you, knows you and loves you. Trust in Him as you wait for your own opportunities to serve and glorify Him.
Mentor Traci Matt Says,
Ah, Shakespeare’s green-eyed monster does love to rare its ugly head, even (and sometimes especially) in the midst of Christian sisterhood. The key is all about the “comparing and measuring” of my life against others. How about, rather than squash the urge to measure, I simply change the direction of my measuring stick? When tempted to jealousy because of someone else’s blessings, how about standing the stick on end and examining how I am taking part in God’s plan for me? How many ways has the Lord used me lately? How many blessings has he poured out on my head? Move the measuring stick from a horizontal position—me to my sister—to a vertical position—me to God. Go vertical!
A hidden pitfall of a mindset of jealous measuring and comparison is the other side of the equation—pride. There will always be someone smarter than me, skinnier than me, more gifted than me, and on and on. However, I will usually be able to find someone I can pridefully outthink or outperform or outshine in some way. If part of the renewal of my mind (Rom. 12:2) becomes changing my habits of comparison from person-to-person, to person-to-heaven, so much more than the green-eyed monster will be slain.
Lindsay Kay Says,
Jealously is a virus that has a way of infecting my mind and my heart, despite my best defenses. There are times that it doesn’t catch up to me as easily, but then, there are seasons that I am more susceptible to it.
When I have a cold, I drink extra water to flush the bad stuff out. I get extra rest and sometimes, I take medicine to manage the symptoms. When I suffer from jealousy, I pray first. I pray that God would purify me from these unpleasant thoughts. I sit in the quiet and focus on His goodness, letting his light refill me. Then I turn to God’s word to arm me against the unpleasant emotions that try to consume me.
Even after all that, pesky jealousy returns again and again. And each time it infects me, I turn to God to overcome its oppressive force.
Lately when this envy bug overtakes me I see it as an opportunity to turn my trust over to Him and what He is doing in my life, Because if I get to the root of it, my jealousy stems from fear. Fear that God won’t do something great in my life, that people won’t value me, fear that I don’t measure up.
But when I’m able to turn to God to renew my trust in what He is doing in my life, then I’m given the strength and courage to celebrate the good He is doing in the lives around me.
Take heart my friend, you are not alone with this pesky affliction called jealousy, but we have a God that forgives us, renews us, and reminds us of his faithfulness day by day.
The Home School Mom Cristina Says,
Dear Friend, trust me when I say you are not alone in your struggles. At one time or another, most of us have dealt with “the little green monster”. Always eager to distract us from serving God, the enemy chooses to use our desire to serve against us. Through prayer and a renegotiation of our thoughts, we can silence the beast once and for all; freeing ourselves to be used for God’s greater purposes. But, how do we do this? By focusing less on opportunity and more on preparedness. Are we ready to serve God? In order to be of use, we need to be fully prepared for whatever God brings our way. When we walk into ministry, for that is what it is, with a desire to give and are fully prepared to give all we have for God’s glory, then will He see fit to use us. When we are focused on being prepared, opportunity will present itself.
One last thought… Not everyone can be Martha Stewart. Behind every face in the media are thousands of equally important people, who merely have less visual presence. May we always be reminded that we serve an audience of one – God. And, may we be content with pleasing our maker, no matter how small the job may seem.
Cristina A Homeschool Mom