Jealousy is a beast. Often referred to as “the green-eyed monster,” it hungrily devours our peace, contentment, and joy leaving nothing but decay in its wake. Shakespeare, who coined this metaphor for jealousy in his play “Othello,” knew it’s destructive power. Perhaps he had this proverb on the side of his coffee mug.
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. Proverbs 14:30, NIV
I’ll be honest with you. I have green eyes, both literally and metaphorically. Jealousy is something I’ve struggled with over the years. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think most women share this struggle.
One of the biggest areas of envy is the comparison trap. I know it has caught me over and over.
She’s thinner… prettier… funnier… smarter… richer… more popular… (insert your own particular source of jealousy here)… than me. I wish I had/was that. I don’t like her. I’m unhappy. I’ll never be happy.
A drop of jealousy can begin a downward spiral that spins us right into decaying despair. Rotting bones.
Jealousy is a strong, even overwhelming emotion. We see a possession or quality that belongs to someone else and we want it. And we don’t want them to have it. Jealousy is hostile, disruptive, and consuming.
Think about the last time you felt jealous. What did you see that you wanted? Who possessed it? How did you feel about that person? How did you feel about yourself?
Jealousy plants decay in our hearts and souls. It eats us up from the inside out. It derails the abundant life Jesus says belongs to us in Him. And we do it to ourselves.
Oh, the world is filled with an endless supply of things that can spark jealousy. How can we kill that dreaded green-eyed monster?
King David – who definitely had some experience with jealousy – reveals the kill shot in Psalm 37.
1 Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. 2 For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither. 3 Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. 4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Psalm 37:1-4, NLT
We get jealous because we’re focused on ourselves. We must focus our eyes, our hearts, our desires on Jesus instead. The more we look at Him, the more we want Him. The more we want Him, the less of everything else we’ll want. Then what we desire and what God wants to give us will be the same thing!
The more of Him we want, the more of Him we’ll have. And unlike the stuff of the world, Jesus will complete satisfy our “wanter.” Isn’t God miraculous?
Focus on Jesus. Slay the green-eyed monster. Experience joy and satisfaction.
What is your weak spot? Where in your life does the green-eyed monster most often attack? What have been the repercussions in your life?
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Kathy, I really enjoyed this post. Recently the Lord really convicted my heart about walking in comparison and jealousy towards 2 friends who had recently moved into new homes with gorgeous kitchens. I realized that my heart attitude could have destroyed our friendship. If you would like to hear more of how I stopped playing the comparison game here is my blog post from last week: http://claritywithcharity.com/?p=911
Hi Charity, thanks for coming by.I just read your post! Thanks for your honesty. I love what you said about Satan losing his power when we bring our sin into the light. And your example is so similar to things I have experienced in the past! Jealousy is truly a beast!
Thank you Cathy!
I am a doctor of Psychology and I write a lot about emotions and mental health. You confuse envy and jealousy here and many people do the same. Envy is the feeling that you seem to be describing – and is the notion that someone else has something and is depriving you of it because they have it. Jealousy, on the other hand, is a feeling that involves the love we have for or receive from someone and the panic-striken fear that we might lose someone’s love.