Jealousy is not an uncommon feeling. There are times when a friend has something we don’t, and though we should be happy for them, we feel jealousy. Sometimes our enemies seem to get more good things than us, and we just don’t understand. Jealousy is always trying to squeeze into our lives, to worm into our relationships and make them fall apart. Proverbs 27:4 says
Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?
We rarely realize this is necessary, but we always need to guard our hearts against jealousy. Not only for the sake of others and our relationships with them, but for the way we live our lives.
First off, we need to realize that jealousy goes both ways. Sure, someone else may have something you don’t, but so do you! We are each unique, meaning that we each have qualities (and material things) that other people don’t. Something you have that you don’t care much for may be the envy of someone else. The point is, don’t think that you’re missing out, like everyone else is getting cool stuff and you missed out. We are each blessed in different ways.
When you are jealous of a friend, that feeling immediately comes between the two of you. That jealousy can block out all the good qualities of your friend–it blinds you. And the more obsessed we are with the object of our jealousy, the more the relationship deteriorates.
But this isn’t the least of this. Too many of us focus on what we don’t have; that’s the root of jealousy. Instead, we should focus on and be thankful for what we do have! When we’re wishing for things we can’t get, we aren’t really living. We’re just obsessing over other people’s lives rather than living our own.
I was reading a post on It’s A God Thing, and it says something so clearly to me. A lot of times, when we’re jealous of people, we’re missing the big picture. Sure, that guy may have just gotten an awesome new car, but one of his family members is dying from cancer. Or maybe a couple of your friends get to go to Europe for a month, but in reality their family is falling apart. Jealousy is really a silly thing. We wish we could be in someone else’s shoes, but if that really happened, we’d probably be shocked with all the problems it came with.
What we need to realize is that this is our life. We can’t waste it by wishing we were living someone else’s life. God gave you this life, this moment, for a reason. Because you don’t have that guy’s life for a reason, and you wouldn’t be able to accomplish the same things if you were in that girl’s shoes. Trust in God’s wisdom; He knew you before you were born, before you were created (Jeremiah 1:5). He knows what He’s doing.
More from the Proverbs Series: