Arnold & Pablo

Personal post alert. Recently, I’ve been struggling with jealousy in my friendships. It’s not something that’s easy to admit. It’s not pretty, in fact it’s deeply painful. It’s something that I have had to fight, and with God’s help, I have been able to begin to overcome it.

So, what is jealousy?

The definition of jealous is: feeling or showing an envious resentment of someone or their achievements, possessions, or perceived advantages.

This envious resentment is something that can destroy relationships and weigh heavily upon your heart, allowing anger and resentment to build inside of you and turn you away from God’s will. Right from the beginning of time jealousy has had gruesome consequences – Cain killed his brother Abel over jealousy in Genesis 4.

“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones”

– Proverbs 14:30

The Bible tells us that jealousy is a sin. The 10th commandment is:

“You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.”

– Exodus 20:17

This is something that we cannot just allow to happen or accept it as just something that happens in any friendship. This is something that needs to be stopped, it needs to be fought.

So, how do we fight jealousy?

 

Confess it

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

– 1 John 1:8-9

All of us have sinned. Confessing our sins allows us to turn them over to God and to ask for his forgiveness. This also acts as admittance to ourselves. Acknowledging that what we have done and thought is wrong puts us in the correct head space to begin fighting it. Without admitting this to ourselves, we can’t begin to work towards overcoming it.

If you can, it can also be helpful to confess this to another person – ideally the person you are jealous of.

“Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

– James 5:16

Confessing our sins to another person can seem terrifying, but it can provide a wonderful support, someone to hold you accountable and prevents your resentment for that person from building within you.

Prayer

Confessing our sins leads us nicely onto the next step for fighting jealousy: prayer. God has the power to help us overcome our jealous feelings. Once we’ve acknowledged that jealousy is something that we are struggling with, we need to lay this down at God’s feet.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

– Philippians 4:6

Give up your right to be offended

One practical tip that really helped me to fight jealousy was to give up my right to be offended. I acknowledged that I was in the wrong so whenever something happened that made me feel jealous or resentful, I reminded myself that I had no right to feel this way. My friend had done nothing wrong and it was my mind that was thinking ungodly thoughts.

Understand the reason for your jealousy

It’s time for some self-reflection! Why are you jealous? What is it that this person has that you want? Why do you feel that way? For me, my jealousy had sprung from a deep-seated fear and insecurity that I would be alone and have no friends. I resented the relationships that my friends were making because I wished that I could be part of that, and I felt excluded and alone.

Where has your jealousy come from? After much reflection, I have come to understand that all jealousy leads back to one of two scenarios: either you do not trust God to provide for you or that you don’t believe that God is enough for you. For me, I wasn’t trusting in God that he would provide the friendships I needed in this new season of my life. Dealing with this would definitely help me to fight jealousy.

Focus on the truths of the Bible

What’s our best weapon when fighting the lies we believe and the obstacles we face? You guessed it: The Bible! If we want to free ourselves from our jealousy we need to focus on the truths that the Bible shares with us.

Below, I have included just a few verses that speak of God’s promises and directions we are given regarding jealousy. You may wish to write these out, memorise them, pin them up somewhere you can see them. Anything that will help you to focus on these teachings of the Bible and fight the jealousy in your life.

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said ‘Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you’.”

– Hebrews 13:5

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength”

– Philippians 4:13

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus”

– Philippians 4:19

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.”

– James 4:7-8

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”

– Philippians 2:3

Share this post!

4 Comments

  1. That’s very brace Arnold

  2. Wow! A great guide for dealing with an often whitewashed sin.

    I hate finding this green eyes monster reassuring it’s ugly head in my heart!

    Thanks for the practical guide!

  3. I too struggle with this, thank you for speaking truth to this!

  4. “For me, my jealousy had sprung from a deep-seated fear and insecurity that I would be alone and have no friends. I resented the relationships that my friends were making because I wished that I could be part of that, and I felt excluded and alone.” I too have felt this very same way. Anytime Ive been jealous it has come from a place of my on insecurity. It really had nothing to do with the other person. Great insight….great post. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like...