The good news about jealousy is it means we want something. We’re trying, we’re competing, if you will. A jealous person isn’t a satisfied person. But that’s about the only optimistic thought I have about jealousy.
Mostly, jealousy is a soul killer.
If we have a competitive personality, the dark side is often a jealous streak.
Jealousy is often a passive-aggressive mental reaction to a feeling of inferiority, which is a lie. It’s true you may be inferior in some area of your life, but it’s a lie that it matters in eternity.
I have a personality easily given to jealousy. I’ve gotten much better over the years, but it still comes out from time to time. Normally, my jealousy doesn’t look or feel like jealousy, it feels more like I’m annoyed with somebody or I think a person is getting attention they don’t deserve. It feels innocent enough, but it’s really just jealousy.
Here are 4 ways I contend with my jealous streak:
1. I repent and acknowledge I am not, in fact, the greatest writer in the history of man.
2. I thank God that He loves me whether I write well or not.
3. I go for a walk in the morning, before I write, and pray for other writers who I feel jealous about. (This is an amazing technique because the jealousy subsides immediately.
4. When I am wrongly tempted to jealousy, I turn the other cheek. I count this emotion as a blessing because it calls me back to step one, to humbly repent for the entitlement I feel.
Another drawback of jealousy is it negatively affects the quality of our work.
The goal here is to wake each day and till our field like a humble farmer. If God sends rain, then so be it. But if He does, our ground has been tilled and our seeds have been planted. The rest is up to Him.
Jealousy is a trick. I don’t know of a single benefit to the emotion. Jealousy will have a farmer sitting at his breakfast table till noon, checking Twitter and Facebook and Amazon rankings, all the while the professional farmer is out tilling his field, only thinking about his portion.