I had a moment of jealousy. Okay, more than a moment. I had a little pity party. I camped out there for a while and even invited God along. I told God all about how unfair it was that someone had more than me, got what I wanted, did what I wanted to do, looked like I wanted to look, my list could go on. This party, it wasn’t just a one night thing, I loved to revisit it and quite honestly sometimes I think I lived there. Then God whispered to me in the middle of my rant: Love People.
Back to this again.
I came across the question recently, “Why is it so difficult to celebrate other’s success?” That’s a hard question to answer. It’s not that I don’t know the answer; it’s that I don’t like the answer. I think it all stems down to jealousy. And who wants to consider themselves a jealous person?
When I looked up the definition of Jealous this is what I found: resentment against a person enjoying success. Here’s the thing I find to be true about jealousy: when I feel resentment against someone enjoying a success, it is impossible for me to be truly happy for them in that success. And let me just be clear, I WANT to be happy for others. As I have struggled with this God has made 2 things overwhelmingly clear to me.
God does not have a blessing bucket. I don’t know why it is so easy to think if someone else receives a blessing from God there will be nothing left for me. Ridiculous when you actually say it out loud, but so tempting to believe when you see someone else get what you want. My God is able to do infinitely more than I could ever ask or even think (Ephesians 3:20). God will never run out of resources – it is just not going to happen.
To avoid jealousy, I need to be generous. I have had the other statement in my head for a while, but once God unlocked this in me everything has clicked. When I am investing in others – time, prayer, resources- I am genuinely happy at their success. It’s crazy how that works! I mean to think that when it says in the Bible, “It is more blessed to give than receive” (Act 20:35) it is TRUE!
God has done such a work in my heart to clean out jealousy and resentment that I have ignored or justified for a long time. But before I close this post and consider it done, I have to look at a second definition of Jealousy that I read.
Jealousy: vigilance in maintaining or guarding something.
So in complete opposition to everything I just wrote- I am now striving to be MORE of a jealous person. As I prepare to physically leave this country and my family and friends, I want to have vigilance in maintaining and guarding my relationships. As I strive to love deeply this year I know one thing for sure, deep love takes time and effort. Loving people is work – but it’s worth it.