Jealousy and Envy
Have you ever had a jealous thought? Whether you want to admit to it or not, I would think most people, including me, would respond with “yes”. It doesn’t take long in this culture to recognize that everyone around you has what you want, and on top of that, it has come very easy for them.
Bill Johnson talked about the topic of jealousy and envy in a recent sermon and it was so good and so convicting. While I am sharing some of my thoughts too, the text below is ALL God speaking through Bill, so make sure to go and listen. He spoke from Matthew 19:30 which says, “many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.”
Why does God promote people who least deserve it before the people, like you, who have prayed, obeyed, and believed? You know, the newbie Christian who one month into their relationship with Christ asks for what they want and gets it? Meanwhile, you have been waiting 5 years and have asked and asked and asked again, but have not seen your prayer answered. Why have there been 20 babies from my local MITM group – the group I started – yet I have received nothing? Nothing! This is a reality that every person has faced whether it’s a baby, that dream job you have worked so hard for, that husband you have longed for, that financial breakthrough….. Others around you are getting what YOU want. You have been faithful. You have been obedient. You have trusted God, but instead of you receiving breakthrough the person next to you has it instead.
Before we move on, it’s important to remember that everything that has been given to you is through God’s grace. Grace. Grace. Grace. Not works. Not faith. Not obedience, but His grace. There is nothing you can do to earn what you want from Him. You can’t work your way into a new job or make yourself pregnant. Every good gift is from Him and it’s given to you because of His love and His grace.
Jealousy and envy block what the Lord wants to do for you. Both of them will leave you in bondage and keep you from moving forward in His kingdom. God wants to promote you and bless you. He wants to give you the desires of your heart. But, when you ask Him for something, sometimes before receiving it, the Lord takes you the long way around. He requires that you are tested to make sure that you are capable of receiving what He wants to give you.
So what is your initial reaction when you see that new pregnancy announcement, engagement, or dream house? How do you handle those moments? Do you rejoice with those who rejoice or do you instead let envy and jealous rise up within? Are you aware that the choice is yours? Yes, it is true! You have the authority to shut out all bitterness and jealousy. You can choose to partner with God and walk in the Spiritual realm to celebrate those victories around you or you can enter the natural realm and let bitterness and jealousy overwhelm you.
Do you think that if you can’t rejoice with someone else’s victory, then you are qualified to have the victory for yourself? Remember the Lord brings trials for a reason. He tests the waters on how you handle the promotions, breakthroughs, and increases of others. He wants to see you pass the test, but jealousy and envy will block your progress into the realms of God that you have asked for. The best way to deal with jealousy and envy is to acknowledge what it is, confess it, and invite God in to take care of it. If you choose to carry the burden yourself, then there is nothing He can do to help, but if you choose to confess it He takes care of it for you.
Jealousy and envy will stop when you learn to celebrate someone else’s victory, especially when it’s the exact victory that you need. Join others in celebrating as though it were your own victory! Choose to pray blessings over the people who have what you want. The next time you see or hear another person receive what you have been asking for, thank the Lord. Celebrate life just as God wants you too – after all HE is the creator of all good things.