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.

Do you think that if you can't rejoice with

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  • Megan Davis
    Posted at 07:14h, 18 September Reply

    Eek-so convicting ? Why do we do it?! Not only does it drive down joy for ourselves, it minimizes our ability to glorify God’s work in the lives around us. Thank you for challenging us all to lay it down at the feet of Jesus!

  • Danielle Dortch
    Posted at 08:11h, 18 September Reply

    Oh my goodness girlfriend, you are speaking straight to my heart and I love it. It’s so important to have friends who will check you on your attitude and motives behind your actions. Jealousy is never a good response and I love the little picture you have at the bottom. So true! If we can celebrate with our fellow man, why should we deserve something worth celebrating? I love your willingness to stick it out with God in this journey. It’s truly inspiring!

  • Kara
    Posted at 09:58h, 18 September Reply

    So good friend!! Just what I needed! xoxo

  • Amanda
    Posted at 10:35h, 18 September Reply

    I know I’ve struggled with this same thing in the past. There’s such truth to this! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Tiffany (A Touch of Grace)
    Posted at 10:40h, 18 September Reply

    Oh I can for sure say that yes, I’ve been jealous and envious of others. It’s impossible not to. But being happy for others shows grace, and we all can always use a bit more grace. Great post Caroline!

  • Rebecca Jo
    Posted at 10:48h, 18 September Reply

    Our world is getting back about comparisons & jealousy with social media – but amen sister… if you cant be happy for others, why would God bless you with it?

  • Deborah
    Posted at 11:39h, 18 September Reply

    Although we should be praying for all of those around us, I just love your advice of specifically praying for those around us who have what we want. What good this will do our hearts.

  • Cathy
    Posted at 11:48h, 18 September Reply

    Love this and the line that everything has been given to us by God’s grace! I needed that reminder today!

  • Valerie
    Posted at 12:24h, 18 September Reply

    Hello Caroline,
    This is such a beautiful post. It truly shows your heart of God to be able to rejoice with those who are getting what you long for. I remember just how difficult that was for me. In fact, I got to the point where I just couldn’t go to baby showers because I was so emotional I thought I would cry. I wish I could have rejoiced with some of my friends back then. I believe that God understands that pain though. God will use your pain to help others. I started a small group when I was going through infertility with Sheila Walsh “Life is Tough But God is Faithful.” I handed out flyers to parents at my school and at church. The first person to arrive at my door was 9 months pregnant. Her husband had just left her for her best friend. Years later when I was finally able to have a baby she gave me all her baby gear. Women came who were in pain..facing divorce, cancer, depression… God is using you. Thank you for this beautiful message.

  • Ashley
    Posted at 13:53h, 18 September Reply

    Yes. Beautifully said. Reading this I was reminded of the word ‘faithfulness.’ Sometimes, when I have a hard time celebrating someone, I forget that all I am asked is to be faithful to His calling. Sometimes that will look like I think it will and other times it won’t. Sometimes it will look like smallness. Not only do we need to celebrate others accomplishments, we need to remember to celebrate our own smallness.

  • Jojo
    Posted at 15:23h, 18 September Reply

    Yes yes yes! U are spot on with everything that u wrote. We can choose to be envious or joyful for other people’s answered prayers. We are only human but we definitely have the control to believe in his love.

  • Kelli {A Deeper Joy}
    Posted at 16:22h, 18 September Reply

    Yes! Perfect. I love where you said “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.” I constantly think that I’m doing something wrong or that I need to achieve a certain level spiritually and then I’ll get pregnant. Or people tell you to do this or that. Everything is given to us through grace. Undeserving people get things that deserving people want and that’s ok because it’s what God wanted. I constantly have to remind myself of that. My young, unmarried cousin just found out that she’s pregnant and she’s not happy about it and it takes everything inside of me to not be angry, but to rejoice with her and for that precious life.

  • Angie
    Posted at 17:09h, 18 September Reply

    Great timing as we’re about to spend a weekend getaway with our group of close friends (all of whom have kids). I like to turn jealous thoughts into prayers for the people I’m jealous of. It def takes an intentional mindset though!

  • Erica
    Posted at 19:31h, 18 September Reply

    Jealous can be healthy IF and only if handled in a healthy manner. This is perfect!

  • Grace
    Posted at 20:12h, 18 September Reply

    This hits where it’s needed! I read once how another IF sister said she prays blessing on the mama and baby when meeting another pg announcement. That is the response I want to choose. Thank you for letting God speak through you~

  • Evangeline
    Posted at 22:56h, 18 September Reply

    My favorite point from this post—“You have the authority to shut out all bitterness and jealousy.”

  • Jonathan Key
    Posted at 23:13h, 18 September Reply

    I agree jealousy and envy can paralyze you. They’re poison for sure. They can keep you from beaching all that you can become and all that God would have you do. However, God is the ultimate healer of all things broken and makes all things beautiful in His time.

  • Rebecca
    Posted at 05:18h, 19 September Reply

    I loved this post!! Several weeks ago I touched on the topic of Envy in the Single Journey ( and I LOVE your thoughts here! Thank you so much for sharing! FAVORITE quote: “You have the authority to shut out all bitterness and jealousy”. AMEN!!!

  • Marissa
    Posted at 07:52h, 19 September Reply

    Such an amazing truth Caroline. And I think if you are a person who breathes, you have envious and jealous thoughts it a matter of letting those go and turning to our Lord with a grateful heart that sets those apart from others.


  • GinaB @ Mirror Watching
    Posted at 16:00h, 20 September Reply

    We talk about waiting on God many times from the perspective of Him doing something in us or make us ready. May I also add that sometimes He is preparing the way. In the case with my 13 year wait for a baby, I found out that I benefited from participating in treatments and procedures that either were not developed when I first started trying for a baby or they were in the testing stages. With God EVERYTHING is about timing. Lay your prayers before the Lord, He is Soverign, prepare yourself to be ready, consult God about which season you are currently in and live. Your season is not your neighbors season and if you waste your season pining after another season in your life you will miss the richness and blessing that God has for you. It took me a few years to realize this, but I finally got it about two years in. You may feel left out, but when you submit to God’s direction He will provide you with a full life and before know it, 13 years later, here come baby!

  • Cheryl
    Posted at 20:17h, 20 September Reply

    This is such a true post! We all struggle with this ugly monster from time to time, and we would not be truthful, if we said we didn’t. It is so hard to understand sometimes, but God has a perfect plan, and, at the end of the day, the one He chooses for us is always in our best interest, thought that can be very hard to see when all we can see is how everyone else is getting what they want. God bless you, my dear friend. One day, your dream will be fulfilled, I just believe that with all my heart. Until then, I pray for you often and always hold you close in thought. Keep believing!!! Your miracle is on its way!!!!

  • Cassie
    Posted at 08:05h, 21 September Reply

    A friend and I were JUST talking about this topic yesterday. How timely! I’m going to go share it with her now 🙂

  • Shannon Hall
    Posted at 22:01h, 21 September Reply

    This is beautiful! I love the sentiment of overcoming jealousy by rejoicing with those who rejoice. Perfectly said.

  • Kelly @ Southern Komfort Blog
    Posted at 09:14h, 22 September Reply

    My goodness, how I have seen the art of jealousy and envy destroy relationships and people. There is soooo much truth in that statement you shared: if we can’t rejoice in someone else’s victory, then why in the h-e-double hockey sticks do we think we’re any better to receive that victory? Great post!

  • Brianna George
    Posted at 09:38h, 22 September Reply

    Love! Great word. Envy and comparison are definitely the thief of joy. I enjoy Bill Johnson teaching as well. 🙂

  • Rachel
    Posted at 09:58h, 22 September Reply

    This—> “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.” Love it. Everyday is a choice. We aren’t held prisoners to our feelings, we can choose them. Great post thank you for sharing!!

  • cuteheads
    Posted at 13:11h, 22 September Reply

    Beautifully said. It’s so hard to do this, I know we all struggle with it, but being happy for others when all you want is to be bitter is truly a gift you can give yourself.

    The Cuteness

  • Jenny @ Unremarkable Files
    Posted at 20:30h, 22 September Reply

    At those times when you’re so frustrated because other people are getting what you want, it helps me to remember that (a) God has very good reasons for giving that particular blessing to that other person which I don’t know, and (b) God has very good reasons for not giving that particular blessing to me yet, which I also don’t know. In short, He’s way smarter than I am!

  • Angela
    Posted at 00:09h, 23 September Reply

    You have the best outlook! Thank you for sharing your perspective, always inspiring!

  • Brandy
    Posted at 13:34h, 24 September Reply

    This is such a great point Caroline! I always love your perspective and you encourage me so much in the way you live it out! I can’t wait to follow your journey and jump for WHEN your sweet victory comes. Thank you so much for being such an encourager to me.

  • HilLesha
    Posted at 14:40h, 30 September Reply

    This is true that we all have felt this way at some time or another. As I’ve gotten older, I learned to appreciate what I have instead of concerning myself with others have since we’re all blessed in some form or fashion. Life, itself, is a gift, and we should be happy to have that. 🙂

  • Rebeca
    Posted at 19:57h, 01 October Reply

    Thank you for this article. I have felt at time jealous of others success. Especially when it comes to their online business growing. I have to remind myself of what He has revealed to me. Thank Him for the talents He has given me. Also that it will come to past. Father forgive me; I pray You help me in the waiting. Thank You Lord for grace. In Jesus name.

  • Carissa
    Posted at 10:51h, 17 November Reply

    I got to this post from your Link up on Amateur Nester, you shared This is Infertility and it was a beautifully written post. But this post spoke to me and I’m so thankful you shared this. This services as a reminder that I need to be joyful and show grace to those who are successful. Thank you!

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