Finding and fixing the jealousy and envy that corrupt our hearts
Jealousy and envy are often very secret sins. We invite them into our lives and harbor them deeply in our hearts where they fester and grow. One day we look around, and if we are observant, we realize we are seeing our world through different and damaged eyes. Jealousy and envy not only damage our personal character and outlook, they can easily damage our relationships and our perceptions of others as well. What brings us to the place where these things creep in and take hold of our very lives? How do we recognize them, and how do we take steps to not only fight back but overcome and defeat them?
First, is there a difference between jealousy and envy? A good working comparison is: Jealousy is the emotion that occurs when we anticipate or feel the loss of something of great value to us. The key point here is that you are experiencing an actual loss or the loss of something you fully expected to have. Envy is the emotion that occurs when we experience an extreme desire for something someone else has. The comparative point here is there is no actual loss; rather, the emotion stems from seeing and wanting someone or something that is out of reach. It is unfortunately very easy to have both of these insidious emotions plaguing us simultaneously.
Sadly, we are far too often willing to accept jealousy and envy as part of life. We allow them to take root in our hearts figuring they are natural and therefore somehow tolerable. Nothing could be further from the truth! Both the Old and New Testament writings are pointed on this subject. They call out jealousy and envy for what they are – sins – grievous sins. The Bible is explicit in its descriptions of the damage they do.
A graphic example is the dedicated Christian woman we had on our podcast with us to discuss jealousy and envy. All of her life she had a deep-rooted desire to be a mom. She married the right man, also a deeply dedicated Christian. They settled into and built a good life together and then discovered they were not able to have children. That discovery in and of itself was completely devastating. What happened after was even worse, as jealousy and envy crept into her heart and mind. It seemed as though everyone was getting pregnant, and the sense of loss coupled with discontent just grew. She found herself out of place in her own life.
What did she do? How did she find her way back to a godly and gracious mindset? Check out our August 5, 2019 podcast, “Am I a Jealous Christian?” and hear the story yourself. This courageous woman laid out very the specific, scripturally-based steps she took to beat back the monstrous and debilitating effects that jealousy and envy wreaked in her life. This is a story of victory and a story you don’t want to miss!
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