It’s so easy to get jealous. And it’s also crazy the thing small tiny things we get jealous over.
Shawn Lantz, the speaker at the women’s retreat, spent a lot of the first session talking about this. Because as women, we tend to get jealous a lot. And it’s become a stereotype for us. I personally do believe that men get jealous as well, but they are less willing to admit it, at least not publicly. But for women, it’s so present in our lives every day about how we compare ourselves to each other and feel like we can never measure up. It’s a never ending battle we have with each other and with our own selves.
To highlight some of the things Shawn talked about, everything she said specifically will be in quotes.
Four core issues that a jealous heart wrestles with
God, can I trust you?
God, do you love me?
God, are you good?
God, are you just?
“There is no shame in admitting I struggle with jealousy.”
One of the things Shawn mentioned is how it can be easier to admit you have an anger issue than a jealousy problem. And I think that’s true. We’ve been ingrained throughout our entire lives that jealously is wrong and we shouldn’t be feeling it. But yet it still happens. For example, Facebook is the best way to make yourself feel inadequate. Look at all the things other people are doing! They got engaged! They got married! They bought a house! They are pregnant! They had a boy! They had a girl! They went on vacation! They look perfect! And then we feel like we have to one up them….or just give up and admit defeat that we will never have lives as good as theirs look. I probably should just stop using Facebook for a while but I’m not ready to yet.
Maybe there are some people who never have to deal with jealousy. And kudos to them for honestly feeling that way. That’s awesome that you have found a way to never compare yourself to others and want things others have. I’m jealous of you for being that way. HAH.
I had a discussion with one of my girlfriends about how jealously in western culture tends to be visually based. We get jealous of material items and body images because that’s what society throws at us. I do believe however that jealously is universal though. In other parts of the world there’s a different type of jealousy. I think humans crave emotional affection and attention so if we don’t get that, there’s always going to be some sort of envy.
A personal confession? I get jealous. It can be a struggle right now with all my friends who are in relationships and I’m not after attempts to have relationships keep failing. Every time I receive news that a friend gets engaged, while I’m extremely happy for them, I break down into tears. I’m jealous that they have found someone who chooses to love them. And I want that so badly and it hurts when it won’t happen. I feel like something is wrong with me and wonder what they have that I don’t.
But the thing is I also know that even if I get this one thing fulfilled, if not handled correctly and I don’t fix where my heart is, my jealousy won’t stop there. Because people who are dating get jealous of people who get engaged. People who are engaged get jealous of those who are getting married before them. People who are married get jealous of those who are single. People who aren’t pregnant yet get jealous of those who are pregnant. People are pregnant are jealous of those who have easier pregnancies than they do. People who have boys get jealous of those who have girls and vice versa. People who have kids get jealous of those who don’t have kids. People get jealous of those who have bought houses, cars, vacations, etc.
There are so many things we get jealous over. And it’s never going to end.
I wonder sometimes how could anyone possibly be jealous of me? I don’t have my life together at all. I never have anything interesting happen in my life. I’ve had really bad things happen in my life. What could you possibly think is awesome in my life that is not in yours? Not trying to be cynical here.
Comparison – we become disgruntled with what once made us content
We believe that our obedience entitles us to more than what we were promised
We want God’s blessings to us to match our desires and/or sense of justice.
Since I struggle with this from time to time, I know at least for me I have to just admit I feel this way vs hide it under a rug and ignore it. And when I admit it, then at least I can face the problem and try to fix it. What usually ends up happening is when I feel it’s getting too bad, I pray a lot. God shows me what I can be grateful for, but not in a way that makes me feel guilty.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:25-26)
Jealousy is ugly. It’s not becoming and it’s not a quality trait. I’m not going to lie and say that I never have it. I just need to deal with it in a more positive way.