There are many hindrances to friendship. My post “Struggling Friendships” gets a little bit into this topic. The more we learn about these hindrances, the better we can avoid them and the better friendship we will cultivate. Surprisingly, jealousy presents itself as a sturdy wall in the way of a good friendship. Why? Let’s see….
Imagine that you have a really good friend who enjoys sketching. He draws phenomenal pictures that are truly awe-inspiring. Let’s say that one day, your friend comes to you with a drawing. He tells you that he put a lot of effort into this project and he wants to know if ti’s any good. You, of course, already know that it’s going to be amazing. Still, you look at it and you realize that it is more than amazing. It looks professional, it has an inspiring feel to it, and you are dumbfounded.
Like my little story? I hope so, but it’s time to switch your focus for a moment, because this is part of my point. What would you do next? Think it over carefully and answer honestly. Would you tell your friend the truth, tell him just how good it is? Or will jealous begin to eat you up? Times like this can take over you if you let it. You will start to think, “Why can’t I draw like that? It’s not fair!” But you don’t have to let jealousy take over you! Be glad for your friend! And if you’re still thinking that it’s not fair, remember that there’s probably something you can do that your friend can’t do, or at least can’t do as well. The world is always like that. There will always be someone doing something we can’t do, and there will always be someone that it better than ourselves. But that’s okay. We need to remember to put others first.
A helpful thing to remember here is WWJD: What Would Jesus Do? Jesus would be happy for his friend, and glad that he has accomplished something so amazing.
Let’s go back to our story now. You’ve decided not to let jealousy control you. You tell your friend exactly what you thought, and added that he should submit it to a magazine. After a little thought, he does just that. And he goes on to become a famous artist, all because of you.
If (in this fictional story) you had held back the truth, your friend may not have realized he had any talent. He may not become the person he could have been if your jealousy hadn’t taken over you. But it didn’t.
There may be times when you wished you had what someone else has, or were what someone else was. That’s human nature. But don’t let it control you. Other people will become other things, but God has a divine and unique plan for you. Don’t stand in the way of God’s plan for someone else because of jealousy, and never let jealousy stand between you and a friend.
More from The Friendship Series