As we continue with our Feminology theme this year of emotions, our blog post this month is a response to our recent Unshaken podcast episode 142 by Heather Cramer titled “Feminology: Jealousy. Take a listen below and read on for thoughts and reflections on the episode!
Unshaken Episode 142: “Feminology: Jealousy” by Heather Cramer
The emotion of jealousy finds its way into our hearts and minds pretty early in life. Even as little children we find ourselves jealous of other children’s clothes, hair styles, or toys. Envy manifests itself in toddlers who take away a desired object from another toddler while exclaiming, “Mine!” We’re familiar with the phrase “green eyed monster” and we all probably don’t think of jealousy or envy as positive characteristics. When we look to the Bible, we find a deeper and more serious understanding of these sins in our lives.
Looking at James 3 verses 14-17 we see descriptions about “bitter jealousy” which is not wisdom from God “but is earthly, natural, demonic.” We also see that jealousy brings “disorder and every evil thing.” Calling jealousy the “green eyed monster” seems pretty tame in comparison but God’s Word sheds light onto the reality of our hearts. We see many examples of this in the Bible from Joseph whose brothers who sold him into slavery because of their jealousy of their father’s favoritism towards Joseph all the way to the time of Christ. In Mark 15 it says that the chief priests handed Jesus over to be killed because of their envy.
These examples seem drastic and perhaps unrelatable as none of us are planning to let our sin take us to such extremes yet they serve as a warning to us. As believers we are to examine our hearts and confess our sins. So how might jealousy and envy be existing in our hearts perhaps
without us even realizing it? A good place to start would be to ask yourself “Where am I not content?” or “Where am I not trusting God?” So often jealousy and envy may start with the desire for a good thing but it turns into a mistrust of God to provide, a discontentment with what we have or don’t have, and a resentment towards others who have what we desire.
Once you’ve identified this sin in your life, it’s time to confess it and fight it. But how do we fight our jealous thoughts and envious feelings? Practicing thankfulness is key in the fight against this particular sin and other sins as well. A thankful heart is a content heart. It is thankful for what God has given and it’s hard to be envious when you are content with what you have. Also by meditating on the characteristics of God we can fight against jealousy and envy. When you think about how God is sovereign, wise, your Provider, your Father, that He is good, all these truths combat jealousy and envy. Renewing our minds transfers our eyes off of ourselves and our distorted view of reality and places it back where it belongs on God and helps us see the truth about our situations.
These verses found in Colossians 3:1-2 are a great start to help you in renewing your mind: “Therefore if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”