I’m not an extremely religious person, but I am an extremely jealous person. I’ve always struggled with being envious, mostly of relationships. Whether you have the friendships I wished I had, the opportunity, or the money, I struggle to keep my resentment in check.
I watched this jealousy problem grow and grow, much like I’m sure many of you are doing. When I still couldn’t find peace with my life, I finally cracked open the Good Book and searched for what the nice folks in the Bible did to overcome their Jealousy.
And you know what I found?
A whole lot of nothing.
See, the Bible tells you in 100 different places that Jealousy is bad and wrong, that unfortunate things happen to those who envy, and that you should be thankful and humble.They’re all very helpful if you’re question is “Is Jealousy Bad?”
Psalm 37:1-3 Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Proverbs 6:34 For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge.
James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
Proverbs 14:30 A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.
Exodus 20:17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.
Romans 13:13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealous
James 3:14-15 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
But what if your question is, “How can I overcome my struggle with jealousy?” or “How can I find satisfaction in my life?”
It tells you what not to do, but it doesn’t show you how. It also never told me why we feel this way besides the fact that we are human and we are sinners. Which just made me more discouraged and confused. Maybe I haven’t dug deep enough, and of course the bible doesn’t always give clear cut answers. But I decided that, maybe that’s the lesson. Maybe finding happiness for your heart is in the process of finding your personal translation.
I can say this. Those verses may not give you the step by step path to a jealousy free heart. But the harder I search for God’s advice, the less time I have to waste on what other people have that I do not.
I think I’m slowly getting a grip. I still have a long long way to go, but it is getting better every day. Even in the littlest ways. And it’s not a perfect quote, but I do hang on to one when I’m particularly struggling.
At first, I rejected this verse. I thought it was about your husband or boyfriend only. I also thought it was cliche, and Hollywood made a movie quote out of it. That’s now how I wanted to build a stronger heart. But I realized it’s a description of the Love that God wants us to give and experience. It’s a challenge that God will reward us with such a love in return.
Maybe that’s more important that what She has that I do not have.