I would rather admit to being angry than jealous, would you? It's quite easy to feel jealous, but hard to admit it, because it can feel like an embarrassing fault to have. Perhaps it’s easier to call it resentment.
What’s at the root of jealousy? I think the basic root is lack. Suppose you are jealous of someone who has a bigger house than you, or a better job or car. You come to Jesus with that pain inside you, confess the jealousy which you feel and ask Him “why do I feel like this?” Perhaps He might show you that you have a deep need to feel that you are someone of value. That’s a genuine need, which God Himself longs to meet.
In the same way, perhaps He might show you that your feelings of jealousy over someone else's loving family or happy wedding is rooted in a deep need to feel secure and loved and chosen. We need to acknowledge these longings inside, and that we can’t fix them for ourselves. All we can do is come to our loving Father with all our neediness and say “help”.
The other root of jealousy can be conceit, as our verse says. If I think that I am better than you, then I may envy you and become harsh in my thoughts or words about you, when I see you being honoured above me. This is sinful and like all sin, we just have to bring it to the cross for forgiveness and cleansing, which is given freely. Then look for the lack which led to that sin developing. Perhaps it comes from a deep need to find significance, to be somebody. God will show you.
The ultimate truth is this- God Himself loves you. What more can be said about your significance? Or your security and value? Think about it. It says it all, doesn't it?
Prayer: Father, I acknowledge that I do feel resentful sometimes, and maybe I should admit that it’s jealousy. I'm sorry. Please show me the place of need or emptiness which is at the root of what I'm feeling. I would like to know the depth of love You have for me. Heal me with Your loving acceptance as I open these deep places for Your eyes to see. Through Jesus my Saviour. Amen.
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