How to Kill Jealousy

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What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. – James 1:16-17

A sermon about the topic of jealousy was given a few weeks ago that I loved. Jealousy isn’t a big thing I struggle with but I would be lying if I didn’t say that it creeps in every once in a while. I’ve found through the years that contentment and trusting God with what He gives you when He gives it to you can protect your heart. We’ve all struggled with jealously, and it can appear over different situations at different points throughout our life. Isn’t jealousy the main source of most relational conflict?

I wanted to share a piece of the sermon on dealing with jealousy so we can protect our hearts, be mindful of others and be the kind of friends we would want ourselves.

How to prevent jealousy

  • Have a candid, open, unfiltered conversation with God about how you feel.
  • Develop a habit of celebration. Speak truth. Ex: You look great! (because that is true she does). Instead of:
    I’m so happy for you that you fit in size 0 pants! (Because you might not be happy but you can admit she looks great.) 

The example you set in front of your children can help them celebrate others too – an example given is when the other team wins or another player does really great. You could go up to the player at the end of the game and say, “You played a great game, you should be proud,” and say it to their parents too.  You don’t have to say, “Glad you won,” because it’s not true, and that’s OK.  But you can say the truth and by saying it to that person, a part of your heart really does celebrate them and helps protect your heart from bitterness.

So let’s start with myself, what do I get jealous about? Over the past few years it’s been a few things like wishing my parents lived closer to me, or having a normal relationship with my brother, but mostly, international travel. When I hear someone going I get super excited but I am hard on myself for not being able to go because I just want to be on a plane all the time hoping country to country.

On the flip side due to jealousy, I’ve lost several friends (when I look at it they really were casual acquaintances) who I thought would celebrate with me but instead unfriended me or attacked me for not consulting them when I posted something about my life.

Being on that end hurts. Jealousy can hurt relationships, and change relationships, sometimes and unfortunately forever.

Let us always be in each other’s cheering section, even if our friend gets what we wish we had, and we’re still waiting for ours. And to my friends who cheer for me, you know who you are because I share the ups and downs with you, thanks for being true.

Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive antique shopper. You can typically find her in her garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next epic party.

2 Comments

  • Chloe Jacobs

    I have a question, my jealousy caused me not to think clearly and acted with my feelings to unfollow and unfriend my best friend in social media. What I should had done was talk to her at the moment I felt hurt. I have already apologized for my mistake and have told her the reason that led me to my actions. Unfortunately she lives in another country, I was the one who even told her that I unfollowed and unfriended her. We have known each other for three years now. I took the time to visit her but due to her work she couldn’t spend much time with me which I understood. But when she was talking to me and our mutual friend on my final day that she was going to another country in a couple of months I felt jealous….now I want to know if that’s normal? I know she deserves an awesome break since she works so much and I was happy, but she had been acting awkward with me during my trip an example would be she wanted to tell me something but all of a sudden she told me she didn’t know how to tell me in english.

    • Diana Elizabeth

      Hi Chloe! Thanks for being here and sharing you story. I must applaud you for not only admitting that your feelings got the best of you and made you react in a regrettable way but that you also want to remedy it. We all make mistakes and apologizing for it is the most important. If she’s your best friend you need to call her. Talking to apologize and speaking softly without any “but you made me feel,” or any excuses would be the best. Just say I’m so sorry I was so emotional (refollow her on all before you make the call) and just pour out your heart and ask for forgiveness. Jealously is normal, but we must fight it we don’t want to live like that! So what we should do is just celebrate others even if it we wish it was us (going on vacation, wining the lottery, getting married, etc.). You can ask, hey was there anything I did while I was out visiting you that I should know and apologize for? I didn’t know if I offended you or hurt you, so please let me know so I can make it right. There’s a post I did about What to do when a friend unfollows you that might give you tips on how to talk to her (even though I know you were the one who unfriended her). Don’t worry, this relationship can be salvaged. Keep me posted. xx

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