contentment-and-jealousy

Why Being Jealous Is Easier Than Practicing Contentment

It’s embarrassing how easily I get jealous.

And I’m not talking about the type of jealousy that revolves around my husband.

I’m talking about good, ol’ fashioned jealousy that flares up when I’m scrolling through social media. Or even listening to a friend talk about a recent vacation.

About 95% of me wants to be happy for this person. But that other 5%, well, it’s oozing with jealousy, envy and discontent.

I don’t want it to be. But it’s there. Always under the surface.

I’d like to blame it on social media alone. However, I remember feeling this way *before* the days of social media.

What Jealousy Looks Like

It was just too easy to look at someone else and think, “Why does she get that and I don’t?” or “Why don’t I get to have that experience?” or even, “Why is everything in life so tough right now? That person’s life is so easy. It’s not fair!”

And you know, sometimes it isn’t fair. In the wise words of my mother, “Life isn’t fair.”

But we’re all assigned a portion in our lives. And we’ve all been given much to be thankful for.

So why am I putting myself in the place as judge and jury of what so-and-so deserves? Why do I think I know best about the timing and trajectory of my life?

If anything, life has proved me otherwise …. Time and time again.

When I look back on the plans and dreams I had as a teenager—and even when I was in my 20s– I literally SHUDDER over what would’ve happened had they been fulfilled.

The Answer to Jealousy

I know the answer to all of this is contentment. In fact, I’ve been listening to the Rachel Cruze’s audiobook, which covers this idea quite in depth.

book-contentment-rachel-cruze

But the problem is that I never seem to know how to get to that point.

Yet I think what I’m struggling with is the feeling of jealousy more than the actions and indulgence of it.

I don’t want to feel jealous. Even for a split second.

Honestly, I don’t know if that can change on this side of heaven. It may be part of the flesh that continues to fight back, as Paul talks about in Scripture (Romans 7).

What I need to focus on more than that is what I do after that feeling. After that split-second reaction of jealousy.

Questions To Ask Myself

Do I ruminate on the unfairness of life? Do I covet what someone I love or know has?

Or do I thank God that they have that opportunity, that experience and that gift?

Do I remind myself that I’m most likely not seeing beyond the façade? That what they’re experiencing is beautiful and wonderful, but just like everyone else, they have their challenges?

Do I humble myself and beg God to help me to celebrate with the people in my life, regardless of how I feel?

That’s what I’m trying to do, one day at a time. But it’s difficult. And frankly, it’s embarrassing that it’s so difficult.

Thank God for the verse where Paul talks about God being strong in his weakness. Thank God we don’t have to be strong.

Because, friend, I’m quite weak. Quite weak indeed.

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