One of Satan’s tricks to promote disunity is to provoke feelings of envy or jealousy either separately or at the same time. His goal is to keep souls from heaven and you aren’t off the hook if you are already saved. He will do his best to tear down your testimony and weaken you spiritually so you cannot reach others for Christ. Envy and jealousy are two different things although both result in building resentment toward others leading to destruction and separation in all types of relationships. Envy is a feeling of grudging admiration and desire to have something that is possessed by another, either their possessions or qualities, resulting in spite and resentment at seeing the success of another which causes feelings of discontent. Jealousy is an emotion typically referring to the negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, and anxiety over an anticipated loss of something that the person values, particularly in reference to a human connection. Jealousy often consists of a combination of presenting emotions such as anger, resentment, inadequacy, helplessness and disgust. Psychologists claim the jealous person "perceives that he or she possesses a valued relationship, but is in danger of losing it or at least of having it altered in an undesirable manner," whereas the envious person "does not possess a valued commodity, but wishes to possess it."
The experience of jealousy for many people may involve:
· Fear of loss
· Suspicion of or anger about a perceived betrayal
· Low self-esteem and sadness over perceived loss
· Uncertainty and loneliness
· Fear of losing an important person to another
The experience of envy may involve:
· Feelings of inferiority
· Resentment of circumstances
· Ill will towards envied person often accompanied by guilt about these feelings
· Motivation to improve
· Desire to possess the attractive rival's qualities
· Disapproval of feelings
We have to combat these feelings by changing the way we think about things. “Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” We can’t accept every thought that may come along because our thoughts are often incorrect when our thought life is not in submission to God. Feelings may be triggered from past experiences, our flesh gets in the way and we may be allowing the devil to whisper untruths into our ears. “James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Our peace will grow when we learn to be content with what we have and with the circumstances of our life. “Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” The Apostle Paul could have given into envy or jealousy but instead he tells us, “Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” We are taught to give and one of the benefits we have is receiving.“Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” We have to focus on ourselves and be happy with what we have and not judge the worthiness of another’s blessings or begrudge another of what they have received. The other person may be giving in secret just as we give in secret and it’s not up to us to determine how they deserve to receive; we are to trust God’s judgment. “2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” So the next time one of those feelings sneak up on us we need to stop, step back and determine if we are viewing it correctly. Bring it to God in prayer and trust Him because His plan is far greater than we could ever imagine. “Romans 8:27-28 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Where I have been has brought me to where I am today, good and bad. Though I’ve made some bad choices along the way and surely life would have been easier if I hadn’t made those choices, I’m not who I once was. I can’t even begin to count how many times I have gotten upset when someone brings up something I’ve done wrong in the past. The irritation of knowing that there are times I’m not given a chance because of something I’ve done before. The anger and hurt that sets in because I feel not good enough, condemned and rejected. If I’m not careful the flesh takes over and I start to go over all their imperfections and mistakes in my mind and think “who do they think they are fooling themselves thinking they are without fault”. It’s then that I have to remind myself that I’m doing the exact same thing the other person was doing. I also have to wonder how many times I’ve not given someone a chance because I’ve held their past wrongs against them and I have to remind myself that maybe they aren’t the person they once were either. I have to remember that people can change as I myself changed. How do people change? Don’t we often hear the saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”? In reality people can change. The Bible teaches us that once you become saved you are a new man because you are born again of the spirit, “2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” As long as we are in Christ we are a new man and old things are passed away. Sometimes when we can slip away and become distant from God we can find ourselves going back to the way we were before because we are no longer in Christ. The remedy of that problem is easy, go back to God and be renewed. “Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” We can decide daily to resist going back to the way we were and determine to not make the same mistakes. What we do today and this day forward is what rebuilds our past. We are not without flaws and neither were the people in the Bible. Many of those named in the Bible committed some devastating sins yet they went on to be used in great ways by God. We shouldn’t get discouraged by our past, instead we need to determine to keep moving forward through the power God provides us. “2 Corinthians 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” Are you a new man and is your inward man renewed day by day or are you stuck in your past? I’m not who I once was.
I'm a wife of 20 years to a husband that consistently chooses to love me despite my flaws and a mother of 3 wonderful, loving and giving children. I have 6 babies waiting for me up in Heaven. I'm imperfect, often broken and learning; you will see many aspects of what makes me the person I am throughout this blog. You will find no condemnation from me. I have my fair share of problems and battles, I win some and lose some but by God's grace I'm continuing in the good fight. I'm attempting to live life authentically and I enjoy the many blessings God has given both in happiness and pain. I don't have any formal education in Biblical Studies and I don't claim to be an expert. I'm just sharing experiences and lessons I am learning or trying to learn as I go through life.