When Jealousy Kills

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

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The monster with the green eyes...We have all been its perpetrator and victim. We have all felt the sting of ugly behavior and words when someone is jealous of us. We have also trespassed against others when they have what we want.

This summer I am revisiting Shawn Lantz's Bible study on jealousy. {Living with Unmet Desires: Exposing the Many Faces of Jealousy}. In 2012, I had done her study not realizing that I was about to become a victim of the green-eyed monster. Honestly, the first time I went through it I didn't have a deep understanding of the concepts Shawn presents. I now do...maybe more understanding than I care to have!

Jealousy devastates lives, not only for the one who is the victim of it, but also for the one who is the perpetrator. So how do we keep the monster under control? How do we heal if we have been its victim and maybe even its perpetrator? Here is a quick look at what I am discovering about the two roles jealousy can play in our lives...

If you are jealousy's victim...

Oh, how my heart bleeds for you! I have been there and am still recovering from the ugliness several people dumped into my life because of their jealousy. It has been a long road to recovery. I have not totally arrived yet, but I am working on it. Here are some ways to heal if you have been torn apart by someone's jealous rage:

Realize that jealousy is STRONG! God's Word even speak about how horrific it is...

Anger is cruel and fury is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy? Proverbs 27:4

For love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. Song of Songs 8:6

Accept the fact that once a person lets their jealousy explode there is nothing you can do to stop it. You can't control it. You can only get out of the way if possible. 

Realize that they don't have a problem with you, but rather with God. Anytime a person lashes out at another they have first broken their relationship with God. Read first John and you will see that in order to love God we must love others. More specifically, jealousy is an issue with God. Think about it. God could have given them what they wanted. He could have changed circumstances. He did not. So in reality a jealous person's issue is not with you, but with God. To read more about this concept check out Enemies of the Heart: Breaking Free from the Four Emotions That Control You. This book not only deals with jealousy, but also anger, guilt, and greed.

Realize that the jealous person is really suffering from a broken heart. One of the ways to forgive someone who has lashed out at you is to have compassion for them. One of the greatest helps to me was to realize that those who were jealous of me and treated me badly were really hurting on the inside. Was their response to me wrong? Yes, but I can still look on them in compassion and realize that they were hurting me because they were hurting. 

If you are jealousy's perpetrator...

Ask for forgiveness. Please, please...I beg of you...Make it right! If you have lashed out in jealousy and then anger, you have heaped a heavy burden on the person you lashed out at. They now have to work through the hurt and learn to heal. As a person who has gone through this, I know how long and hard it is to accomplish healing. It doesn't come overnight, and it is definitely harder if the perpetrator doesn't own his or her part. Nothing besides our relationship with God is more important than our relationships with others. I would even be so bold to say that our relationship with God suffers until we make it right with those around us. To read more about how to make it right, click here.

Realized that you are loved more than you know. Jealousy comes upon us because we believe there is not enough love to go around. We think we have missed out when it comes to possessions, power, or position. God has overlooked us. Not so! We are loved by Him more than we can ever know. Work on learning how much He loves you. An understanding of His love for you will keep the green-eyed monster at bay. Yes, you may not get everything you want, but rest assured He provides all that you truly need because of His love for you.

Count your blessings. Not someone elses's. The whole problem with jealousy is that we spend time looking at what others have and not what we have been given. One of the antidotes to cure a jealous heart is to spend time listing what you do have.

Work on your relationship with God. Remember when I said that jealousy rears its ugly head because we have a problem with God? We think God owes us what others have. Asking forgiveness from God is in order. After you have let your jealousy rage the best thing you can do is work on your relationship with Him. He is the One you really have a problem with if you are deeply struggling with jealousy.

Here is a list of resources to deal with jealousy and healing:

Living with Unmet Desires: Exposing the Many Faces of Jealousy

Enemies of the Heart: Breaking Free from the Four Emotions That Control You

Jealousy--The Sin No One Talks about: How to Overcome Envy and Live a Life of Freedom {I have not read this one yet, but his book on forgiveness is one of the best ones out there! This book is next on my list.}

Total Forgiveness {This is from the same author as the above book. If you want to know how to forgive RT Kendall lays out practical advice to get you through the healing.}

Healing the Wounded Heart: Removing Obstacles to Intimacy with God and The Healing Journey are companion books on healing. I would recommend these to both the victims and perpetrators of jealousy as he guides you to an understanding of how much God loves you no matter what you have been through.

Linking up at...

A Divine Encounter

1 comment:

Jen said...

Hi, Debbie! :) Thanks for sharing these words with us over at Grace and Truth last week. Jealousy is something no one likes to think about, yet we all struggle at times if we are honest with ourselves.
Jen @ Being Confident of This