1 Corinthians 13:4
Jealous - feeling or showing envy of someone or their achievements and advantages. Feeling or showing suspicion of someone's unfaithfulness in a relationship. A possession of love and belonging and lack of trust in relationships.
Jealousy can manifest in so many ways. It can began in childhood between siblings, it can rear its head in friendships, or parent and child relationships. And what about in working relationships between coworkers and most common in dating and marital relationships. Let's break down the definition and see how jealousy has manifested in our lives and what God says about it:
Feeling or showing envy of someone and their achievements and advantages. There is a story in the Bible that comes to mind of Leah and Rachel when thinking about being jealous. In short, Leah was considered the less attractive sister and Rachel was the most beautiful and chosen by Jacob at first sight. Come to find out, Laban, their father, increased this insecurity of jealousy in Leah because he had to trick Jacob into marrying her because he didn't feel she could be chosen first. Then he (Laban) allowed Jacob to marry Rachel also, after one week of being married to Leah. What in the ham sandwich! Of course this ignited the spirit of jealousy in this sisterhood. The interesting fact is that both sisters were jealous of the other. Leah was able to have children by Jacob and Rachel was unable to conceive at the time by Jacob. Leah's insecurity of jealousy caused her to have many children in hopes she would feel loved and compete with her sister and it caused Rachel to use a surrogate to have her children because she didn't feel loved by God and felt insignificant compared to her sister.
Feeling or showing suspicion of someone's unfaithfulness in a relationship. This is more common than not. Most relationships have experienced some form of jealousy whether due to cheating, infidelity, or just pure insecurity that was not even conceived in that current relationship. When someone is unfaithful in a relationship, it can greatly contribute to feelings of jealousy because the injured party feels betrayed and they feel that someone else was chosen over them. But the only person that was chosen over them was the mate choosing their own lust over the relationship James 1:14. However, it can feel like it's you and can often be implied by the offending party but the injured spouse/mate is not responsible for the act. The injured spouse is only responsible for controlling the emotions that comes after the offense, such as jealousy. Jealousy is reared due to a lack of trust and sometimes unforgiveness and the need to control the actions of the unfaithful spouse.
Feelings of jealousy are often rooted in insecurities that may have come from the lack of affirmation by a parent, choosing favorites, from a feeling of insignificance or rejection. It can come from being overly competitive, selfishness or a prideful spirit. It is an emotional response of fear that you are about to lose something. It is less about the person but more about what the (jealous) person wants to become.
"A husband is jealous of a wife's raise at work because it will cause her to make more money than he does"
"A coworker is upset and less celebratory of another coworker on her promotion in the office"
"A sister being resentful about their sibling because they get more praise from the parent"
"A father criticizes his son for living a better life than he had, to make him feel like his success is wrong"
"A friend is bothered every time her bestie has a lunch date with another friend"
God says in 1 Corinthians 13 that "love is not jealous." That tells me wherever jealousy is love is not present. Sounds weird to a person that feels like the only reason they are jealous is because they love their spouse, friend or family. However, jealousy is rooted in a spirit that is not from the love of God which is agape love; an unconditional self-sacrificing love. Being jealous is a love built in fear to protect self, it is philautia (love of the self) which has nothing to do with the other person.
How do I get over being jealous?
Forgive the offense - Being able to forgive increases trust and self-confidence. Ephesians 4:32
Be honest about the jealous impact - acknowledging that you are jealous will help to sort out the why. Pretending that you are not only stifles the progress to overcome it. 1 John 1:9; James 5:16
Address what jealousy is trying to tell you. What problem is the jealousy attempting to solve? If you’re feeling jealous because your partner broke your trust, it’s the breach of trust that’s the real problem. If you’re projecting your insecurities onto your partner, it’s your insecurities that need attention. If you’re jealous of your partner’s successes, perhaps there’s an unhealthy element of competition that needs to be eliminated. 1 John 4:18
List your insecurities. What insecurities are driving your jealousy? Are you unsure of yourself due to perfectionism? Are you comparing yourself to others? You’re not making this list to shame yourself–you’re owning your role in the relationship. Psalm 139:14
Cultivate self-confidence. Write down things you like about yourself and the things that people like about you also. Remove any unhealthy comparisons from your life rather through social media, cell phone or socially. Heb. 10:35; Eph. 4:29
Build healthy coping skills. It's up to you to tame the source of your jealousy. If your partner is consistently cheating and is contributing to this unhealthy behavior of jealousy, effectively communicate with them about how it is making you feel. Seek couple's counseling or dissolve the relationship. Self-care is important to your mental and emotional health. Prov. 6:32; Heb. 13:4
The jealous are troublesome to others, but tormenting to themselves - William Penn
Lord thank you for loving me with an everlasting love, that I may know and understand what healthy love looks like. I ask that you help me share this love freely without the feeling of fear that jealousy and insecurity brings in my life. I ask that you help me to forgive __________ for ____________. Heal me from the pain it caused me. Your Word says that love is not jealous and I do not want to exemplify any spirit that not rooted in love. You are in control of my life, please help me to have the courage to move forward and trust you with my life and relationships. In Jesus Name. Amen.
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