Why you need to tame your jealousy.

I was reading Proverbs 27 today and I read these verses. I’ve read them often, but today they kind of stood out for me.

“Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood, but who can stand against jealousy?” Proverbs 27: 3, 4

When you think about it, jealousy is most often the forerunner for anger and wrath anyway, isn’t it?

A lust (one couldn’t possibly be lustful unless jealous first) for someone’s spouse, house, income, position, power has been the demise of people and nations.

Of course, we can be jealous and not come to ruin but I would suggest jealousy can become a groundswell of negative emotions that even if never expressed can hurt others and most certainly ourselves.

But an aspect of jealousy that is often overlooked is that we forget others can be jealous of us. While I don’t believe we need to go around keeping the good things that happen to us a secret, I do feel we should at least be sensitive to those for whom our good fortune can seem like a slap in the face.

When my husband traveled internationally, I would accompany him a couple of times a year because of his numerous frequent flyer miles. I always felt a little embarrassed when people would find out. I didn’t want to be the cause of anyone’s envy. It makes me very unccomfortable.

On the other hand, there was absolutely no reason for me to feel that way. I should’ve have been able to share my excitement but I didn’t very often.

Sometimes, we can be way too sensitive to other people’s opinions. And if it’s people that love us, it shouldn’t be a problem.

I think each of us has to decide how much to share and with whom. Matthew 6:7 states we shouldn’t “cast our pearls before swine”. In this case Jesus was referring to sharing the gospel with those who already had a deaf ear. But I think we can perhaps generalize this to say, “Be careful who you share what with because not everybody is going to receive what you say the way you mean it.”

I get very uncomfortable if I feel someone is envying me or covets anything I have. In most cases, it diminishes the hard work I’ve had to do to get to that point. But when someone comes to the house and compliments me on my decorating skills, after saying thank-you, I let them know I enjoy it and I’ve worked hard to get the house this way. I often mention the knee-deep layers of plaster my husband and I have found ourselves in when we’ve knocked out the walls, or getting down on all fours to break up the tile in the living room.

It gives people an opportunity to let go of their jealousy as they realize it didn’t just happen, it was hard work. I feel that takes the attention off me and perhaps diverts some jealousy.

I apply the same principle to myself when I have seen beautiful homes on the blogs I follow, I remind myself not to be envious because most of them did it the hard way, just like we did.

We need to give jealousy the “heave-ho” in our lives and jealousy should never occur between friends. If it does, we need to question that relationship. People that love each other should always rejoice in the good things that happen to each other.

We all have to find a way to share our good news that works for us and is sensitive to those around us.

If we sense jealousy is festering inside of us, we need to let it go or address it. There is no in-between.

Do you have a friend you feel envious towards? How about a family member?

Would you agree it gets in the way of your relationship?

What can you do to combat jealousy?

We need to address jealousy. And, remember, it’s the first step to hatred. And hatred is the first step to crime and corruption.

The Bible is chocked full of stories that end tragically because of jealousy. There are so many I couldn’t possibly name them all. But a few would be David, Peninnah, Sara, the apostles James and John, Judas, etc.

We all like to think we’d never do some of the things we read that others do.

But the truth?

The truth is if we let jealousy build up in us, it might only take that certain set of circumstances before we do something we regret.

Stop it before it can even gain an inch.

God bless and have a great day.

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