Having What Someone Else Has
The root cause of jealousy varies from insecurity, fear, deception, or covetousness. One of the great problems associated with jealousy is how it breeds strife. As James 3:16 says, "For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing." If we do not receive the same praise, commendation, or recognition as another person, we may feel threatened by the achievements of others and compete for attention. That competition can result in a divided relationship with that person.
To biblically battle the onset of insecurity and eventual jealousy, we must turn to God through His Word to tell us once again of His unfailing love and acceptance. Our search in scripture for how God views us and prayer can help us realize God's care for us is greater than we often consider. Notice the follow passages.
- But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he hath dealt bountifully with me (Psalm 13:5-6).
- Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee (Psalm 143:8).
- But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9).
Deception can also play a role in cultivating jealousy in your heart. You may perceive a threat that in reality does not exist. Your perception of life is distorted due to lies you believe about others and yourself. The following Scriptures can help you battle those lies.
- You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:32).
- Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long (Psalm 25:4-5).
- Do not snatch the word of truth from my mouth, for I have put my hope in your laws (Psalm 119:43).
- Wherefore putting away all filthiness and overflowing of wickedness, receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves (James 1:21,22).
One of the leading factors of jealousy is covetousness. God first spoke against such lusts in Exodus 20:17. "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor". The need to put this sin away is made clearer in the words of Colossians 3:5: “Put to death…covetousness, which is idolatry”. A heart constantly focused on what another has will lose the need to serve God and yield to serving self. Covetousness most often invades our heart when we become dissatisfied with the blessings God has bestowed upon you. Dissatisfaction is only a terrible thing when we do not let it lead us to Christ. Listen to the refreshing truth of Scripture regarding satisfaction in God:
- This is what the Lord says -- your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea (Isaiah 48:17-18).
- Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you (Isaiah 46:4).
- Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? (Matthew 6:25)
- For I say, through the grace that was given me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but so to think as to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to each man a measure of faith (Romans 12:3).
In overcoming the temptation to yield to jealousy, soberly examine if insecurity, fear, deception, or covetousness is the cause. Battle this lust with the truth of God's Word. Put into practice the challenge in Romans 12:1-2: "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service. And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God."