Jealousy and Forgiveness

Monday, June 15, 2015

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As I grow in my relationship with Christ I have become more convinced that Bible study is all about relationships. Our relationship to God. Our relationships to others. Those two facets of life is what God is most concerned about when He said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself." {Matthew 22:36-39} 

I really loved Shawn Lantz's studies when I did them in 2012. One of them is on jealousy and the other on forgiveness. Both of these issues have been major "actors" in the drama of my life. I have battled to forgive some hard events in life for years and can attest to how freeing it is to let go of the offender and hand them over to Christ. Jealousy also has played a part in my saga. Yes, I have been jealous before, but it isn't a major struggle of mine. {I have other struggles.}  Jealousy has been the whole reason why I have needed to forgive. It destroyed some of my relationships. I feel that in understanding what jealousy really is and how it hurts people will give me compassion for those that struggle with it. When jealousy reigns there is a huge need for forgiveness.

So this July after I finish reading The Bible in 90 Days I am planning on revisiting these Bible studies: Encountering the Healing Power of Forgiveness and Exposing the Many Faces of Jealousy. Shawn's forgiveness study focuses on Joseph and his brothers. Joseph is my all-time favorite example of how to do forgiveness. If there was anyone that had the "right" to not forgive it would be Joseph...sold into slavery by his brothers, wrongly accused by his employer's wife, and forgotten in prison were just a few of the offenses he had to deal with. Shawn talks about what forgiveness is and what it is not. She also spends time on what reconciliation requires. The jealousy study revolves around Saul's life. Saul was known for his extreme dislike of David. Shawn spends time in this study discussing the core issues of jealousy and the antidotes for it.

In the past couple of years, God has allowed tremendous healing in my life from the jealousy that destroyed several of my relationships. He has helped me work through the anger and bitterness to reach forgiveness. Now, after having these experiences, I feel this is a great time to go back and look at these two issues all over again with very different eyes. Your perspective changes as you live through heartache. You gain a deeper understanding of God, others and yourself. I went through both of these studies a year before I had to deal with the concepts of jealousy and forgiveness in depth. This time I will be looking at them with a different heart.

Do you struggle with jealousy? Or maybe you are struggling with being able to forgive? I can't recommend these studies enough. They are deep and rich with insight and will help you navigate those hard emotions and concepts. It is my prayer that you won't allow jealousy or unforgiveness to eat away at your heart.

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