Unfortunately, jealousy is a problem we all wrestle with at some point in our lives. Typically it starts with comparison. Whether we are comparing our families, bodies, homes, bank account, and talents to someone else, we are harming ourselves. And going uncheck it can lead to hurting others. Comparison is a thief of joy and is a steppingstone to jealousy.
It’s one thing to be jealous of a random person on social media but it’s a whole other ballgame to be jealous of a friend or a member of your tribe. That green-eyed monster invades your mind, distracts you from your purpose trying to change you into a monster. This can catch you off guard when you know that’s not you!
If you’ve struggled with jealousy for a long time these steps are not going to make your feelings magically disappear. But it is a good place to start in helping you overcome this struggle.
To deny the existence of a problem only makes it worse. There is something about bringing jealousy into the light that diffuses its power over you. It takes courage to admit to yourself and let alone someone else that you struggle with jealousy. If you find yourself speaking negatively about someone in your tribe ask yourself why. Do you desire something she has?
I have seen jealousy raise its ugly head on numerous occasions in my own life. Several years ago, I was invited to lead a women’s ministry at a church. After several weeks of bible study a lady confessed, “I was so upset to learn that you were leading the women’s ministry. I thought, what right do you have to lead…you’re new and to top it off you’re black too. I realize that I’m jealous of you.” She felt guilty about her feelings. We had an opportunity to pray together so she could be set free.
“Confess your faults one to another so that you may be healed.”James 5:16
Although your feelings of jealousy are still there you can take baby steps to override them. Science has proven that “fake it till you make it” really works. Don’t wait for your emotions to kick in. Make a conscious choice to give your friend an encouraging word in the area you are jealous of. Bless her with kindness. If you can’t say it to her face, send her a text or comment on her social media post.
If you can’t stand the recognition your friend is getting take your eyes off her and what she’s doing. Get off facebook if you have to. Focus on your purpose and where you’re headed. Remind yourself of who you are, the talents God’s given you and what you’re called to do. Only you can be you so use your energy in a positive way. As Dr. Seuss says, “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you!”
Ask God to help you check your thoughts when jealousy comes knocking at the door. Then shift your focus on working on you and your goals. Sometimes there is discontentment in our lives that make us feel that we will never get there. This can open the door to that green-eyed monster. It’s important to remind yourself that God has a good plan for your life and it’s going to happen. Live your life to the fullest.
Maybe your friend has something you want like a new job, or house. Just because someone has achieved something you want doesn’t mean that you have failed. Humble yourself and ask her for advice on how she achieved it. To give you a realistic picture ask her what are the responsibilities involved with home ownership or her new position. You may realize that you’re not ready to handle that yet.
“Someone else’s success is not your failure.”
Gratitude helps to prevent jealousy from stealing your joy. Envy focuses on deficits and differences. Whereas, gratitude focuses on the blessings God has already given you. Gratefulness puts you in the mindset of generosity. You are not looking at what you don’t have. Instead you’re looking for opportunities to give out of what you already have such as your time, friendship, knowledge, talents, or love.
Celebrate who you are and know your worth. Embrace and accept who God created you to be. When you’re comfortable with yourself and have high self-esteem you don’t feel jealous of someone else’s circumstances. Tell jealousy to take a hike there’s no room for it in your life. You are worthy of acceptance, recognition and love.