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Jealousy & Envy

What do you see when you look yourself in the mirror? Do you see someone who is content, bitter or full of jealousy and envy? I want to address the issue of jealousy and envy.

What is jealousy and why do you envy people around you?

I want to start by reading the book of James 3 vs 16″ wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there is disorder and everything that is evil and in the book of James 1 vs 4 , it says “what is the source of conflict among you? What is the source of your disputes? Don’t they come from your cravings that are at war in your own lives, you long for something you don’t have , so you commit murder. You are jealous for something you can’t get, so you struggle and fight . You don’t have because you don’t ask , you ask and don’t have because you ask with evil intentions , to waste it on your cravings. This bible verses are self explanatory and shed so much light on causes of jealousy and envy. When you are struggling with jealousy and envy , you need to check your life and deal with yourself first. We can not stop thoughts coming to our heart, but we can hold it captive. In the book of 2 corinthians 10 vs 3-6 says we should capture every thought to make it obedient to Christ. Once your obedience is complete , we are ready to punish any disobedience . 

Nobody is immune to the thought that comes in to your mind, but you are responsible for the one you allow to stay, and the thoughts  you even acted on. You have to know how to submit your thoughts to the Lord. You will be shocked of some thoughts that will come to your heart. Jealousy will ruin your relationship, it will turn you to a bitter and irritable and violent person if you allow it to take over your life, some even go to the extent of committing murder all because of jealousy and envy. It can consume you if you don’t hold your thoughts to the obedience of Christ. Have you ever wondered why Saul will leave his throne and be chasing after David in the bush. It all started in the book of 1 Samuel 18 vs 6 when David came back from killing the philistines, When the troops returned home, the women were so excited and they started to sing in celebration of David, it started when they pointed out that Saul had killed his thousand, but David had killed his tens of thousands. Wow! Did you pay attention to that song, Saul burned with anger, how can these women ridicule him in that song and at that moment he allowed the jealousy to enter. Imagine someone is sharing a testimony in the church about how a sister or brother prayed with her and God answered her and everyone was thanking God for the life of this saint and the pastor gets angry because he felt threatened just like Saul. David never intended for the women to welcome him with all this song, he did what the king said to him to do, just like you prayed for someone because pastor asked you to and you get in trouble because of the testimony. Don’t let us forget that the glory belongs to God and he will not share his glory with anyone. The thought that came to Saul was the fear of losing the throne to David, and he will go to any length to stop him. Have you ever felt like that when they are saying so many nice things about someone you worked with, or your sibling? Have you ever found it hard to like a person because others are singing their praise ? How do you feel when someone is sharing their testimony?  Do you ever wonder why you don’t click like on your social network because someone is doing better than you? Do you find it difficult to give compliments? How do you feel if the attention is not on you? Do you love the attention so bad because you always need someone to applaud you to make you feel better, you see Saul had an issue of low self esteem and it doesn’t matter that he is the king, he will always think everyone is a threat to him, if you are not secure in your calling or in your field of career, you can be a victim like Saul, even if you are the CEO of a company or a pastor, you will be threatened with the gifts around you. David was serving under Saul, no matter what David accomplished, the jealousy consumed Saul so bad that he lost the sight of his purpose and he left his throne chasing david and he eventually lost everything. I have seen many pastors trying to oppress people with the gift under them because of insecurity like Saul that led to jealousy. If not for the grace of God, Saul would have killed David. Jealousy will make you kill physically or kill someone’s dream spiritually. The evil spirit from God came over Saul after he allowed the evil thought against David ( 1 Samuel 18 vs 10) he started to plan how to set David up and kill him; he was afraid of David because God was with him. If you continue to read that passage, Saul removed David from serving and demoted him, does that sound familiar?

My husband always say there are many Sauls’ still sitting on the throne in our churches, God has left them, but nobody can see the sign and they are killing many gifts and talent in their churches. There are many instances in the bible to warn us. If you read the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis 37

Joseph was the 11th son of Jacob, and Joseph’s half brothers were jealous of him. Do you know why? It was because of the father, Jacob. Jacob did not hide the fact that he loved Joseph because he was the son of his old age and the first child by his beloved wife, Rachel. The bible says the brothers hated him because they can see how the father favoured him all the time and he even made a special coat of many colours for him, and now on top of all that, Joseph now shared his dream with them, not just any dream, but the fact that they all bowed down to him. The jealousy grew and they planned to kill him. Parents, do not destroy your family by showing favouritism. My children always ask me who is my favourite among them and my answer is always l love all of you the same way, but l have a favourite every other day, depending how you look after me and we all laughed. How can you share your dream with someone that hates you already, it’s like putting pepper in the eyes! It happened to me too, l shared my vision with someone that l did not know she was jealous of me and I made everything worse; but how will l know, she is someone l loved and respect and that taught me a serious lesson of life. You don’t go around boasting and sharing your dream with everyone. The fact that you have a purpose can trigger jealousy in someone’s heart against you and it doesn’t matter if they are your family as you can see in the case of Joseph. You have to be sensitive and be very careful of how you share your vision and who you share it with. I remember years ago l have a friend that was not married at the time and l was so careful the way l talk about my marriage with her. I am being cautious of her feeling and her position at the time and l don’t want to rub it in her face. I know she is genuinely happy for me , but she is human and it will not be fair to expose her heart to jealousy and envy. Sometimes we get carried away just like Joseph and we are not concious of the people’s feeling towards us. Joseph underestimated the extent his brother can go to stop him. Can you imagine the thought in his heart while he was by himself in the holes and when he was sold to ishmaelite traders and knowing fully well your so called brothers did this to you? I can’t imagine the pain in his heart. The pain of betrayal from people you love and the thought they love you too can be unbearable . One thing you need to know is that nobody wants to be a slave if they are given a choice. If someone is respecting you, most times it’s because of what they can get from you, you will only know your true friends if you have nothing to offer them. 

I remember sometime ago l watched a comedy where a maid thought he won a lottery with a lot of money, he immediately showed his true identity by abusing his boss and all the children. He basically told them everything he was keeping in his heart because he thought l don’t need you anymore. There is a saying in my country that says “you can never never know the true identity of a poor person until they have money.

Sometimes you share so much intimate story between you and your partner with your friend that your friend will do everything to sleep with your partner to enjoy what you are talking about. We can be so careless in our talk and our action. There are so many lesson we can learn from the life of David and Saul and Joseph. 

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Practical actions

  • Be content
  • Be real with yourself about your feelings. Learn to question your jealousy every time it emerges. You might find it difficult to admit that you are having negative feelings and you might want to blame them on another. Always talk about your feelings and learn to laugh at yourself. The more you talk about it, the more it looses the hold on you.
  • Write down memories that may have brought these feelings e.g. Your past experience or low self esteem, unworthy of love because you had a neglectful parent or heart broken from your last relationship.
  • Always ask yourself the motives behind your actions 
  • Learn to love yourself, if you don’t love yourself, you will always believe someone is better than you and you will want to be like them – you can never be original and that can lead to envy and jealousy. 
  • stop comparing yourself with other people, you have lot of “If ” in your life e.g if  l looked like she looks l will be happy or if l had a beautiful house and a sport car , then l will be happy or if l have more money or if l am married with children . Be grateful for who you are and what you have now. God knows what you can handle.

 

Above all this, always submit your thoughts to God and pray to him to help you because most times we are helpless and we need supernatural strength and power from above to deal with challenges of life. Remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. You are much happier when you are yourself. Always encourage yourself in the Lord. Learn to be happy for others. What you make happen for others, God will make it happen for you. You are original, never settle for second best. 

God went to great lengths to make sure each of us is an original, you should not feel badly because of your personality, tastes, hobbies. Some people are timid and some are outgoing. Some love to wear suits and ties and dress up, some prefer blue jeans and shirts, some of us love to shout, jump and dance to praise God, others worship in a more subdued manner, but guess what? God loves it all! God loves variety. 

Be the best you can be, and you can feel good about yourself and accept yourself , faults and all. God loves you for who you are, but he loves you too much to let you live a life of defeat and continue to sin. Trust him with your life after-all he is your creator.

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Kate Betiku
    March 4, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    Wonderful article, very well said. Jealousy can be very Poisoning. it’s good to raise awareness about this sensitive topic as many people even within the church are struggling with this issue.

    Thank you Mercy B

    Keep up the good work.

  • Reply
    victor peter
    March 6, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    cool Tobi

  • Reply
    Rachel Ofiki
    March 6, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    This is actually a lovely piece. So true to the heart. I am not really one to feel jealous and envy of others, but reading this has made me question how I deal with situations where power and attention shifts from me to someone else.

    It is so important to pay attention to your outwardness and how you treat others because of your feelings. I pray that God continues to bless me with contentment and love for the way he created me so that I don not envy others and how they were created.

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