“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” Proverbs 14:30
Like an unwelcome guest, sometimes I feel this ugly emotion arrive in my heart, and I hate it so much! I wish I could say that I always squash it at the door, but that would be a lie. Jealousy, the green-eyed monster, has choked my joy more times than I care to admit. In my younger years, it was a stronghold that destroyed a friendship and threatened to do the same to me. I was naive to believe this spiritual malady would respond to just one visit to the altar. There were layers and crevices of this sin lurking in my heart that God’s Spirit would need to do multiple major surgeries to remove. It was a long and painful process, and I still have to do regular post-op checkups to remove ugly recurring polyps of jealousy.
Three truths have helped me gain control over this sin. First, the Lord reminds me that His plan for me is not going to look like what He planned for anyone else. It is unique to the gifts and calling He designed for my life. It is not a lesser plan, just different.
Second, He loves me. That sounds so simple, but jealousy has an accusatory twang that says God loves the object of my jealousy more than me. In my head I know this is a lie, but the heart has a way ofbeing slower to believe. God’s love for me (and for you, My Friend) is complete. His brand of love, proved irrefutably by the cross, means that jealousy is unnecessary. I have God’s full heart for all of eternity, and the more I walk in it and focus on it, the less of a hold jealousy has on me.
Finally, contentment is a gift that God wants me to give to myself. It helps me to focus on all God’s blessings to me. Contentment steals back time and energy that jealousy likes to burn. Shortening my gaze at what others have, contentment allows me to itemize the abundance God puts on my plate and inevitably to look up at the One Who provided that abundance with a heart of gratitude.