2 Corinthians 12:20 - For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.
Jealousy. That old, ugly head just keeps popping up.
You have this friend who has had a rough life so:
Then, you learn that they’re successful and no longer living a rough life.
Jealousy. That old, ugly head isn’t just popping up, but it’s blocking your eyesight.
You raise up an angry fist and say, “I wanted them to succeed, but what about me? Why do I have to endure another season of hardship and pain while they don’t?”
It’s a funny thing watching your friend finally succeed, and still you’re not happy about it. You’d think you’d be the one who is clapping their hands and cheering them on to victory. But you’re not.
The reason why might be that you can’t reach your goals unless you champion someone else to reach theirs. Even if it means you’re now the one failing.
Push aside your angry words, and fist raised up in anger then:
This is not only the way to victory for them but for you, also. So how do we move past jealousy and be proud of someone else? Here are some of the suggestions you’ll find on joegirard.com in his article, “Be Proud, Not Jealous.” Think positive thoughts about other people whose success is likely to invite envy; also, replace jealousy with admiration, and envy with pride.
It won’t be easy to get rid of jealousy, but it will be worth it. All that energy you wasted when you were angry can now be channeled into moving forward. Take a look at the Bible verse above. The apostle Paul was writing to the church in Corinth. They were having trouble with anger and jealousy. God helped that church to move past the way they were feeling and acting. He can do the same for us to help us become proud of someone else’s success. That way you can continue to be there for your friend. After all, there are still moments while you are moving toward your goals when you stumble and fall and could really use someone to be there for you and encourage you to keep going and not give up. Be the person who stands by their friends whether you’re the one in a season of rough times, or a friend is in trouble. Tell them you’re proud of them for not giving up. Then you can be proud of yourself for not giving up either.
James 3:14 - But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.
Let’s face it. We all have things that we wish we had. We have situations that we wish we could change. We would like our bills to be paid and some left over for recreation after that.
I don’t think that it’s wrong to want to strive a little harder to change things. But there is a slippery slope that we can find ourselves going down if we’re not careful. And what is it?
Envy. But not just a little bit of envy over what you want that others have. No. This kind is bitter envy. We want what others have and we fixate on it. Think about all day and dream about it at night.
But when we wake up, we find that nothing has changed. And before we even walk out the door in the morning, bitter envy is already whispering in our ears.
If you’re generally healthy, you might have bitter envy over the coworker who was promoted instead of you. Or, the new car parked across the street from where you live.
And if you suffer from chronic pain or an illness you may be envious for others’ health, but it only covers the top layers of your heart.
It grinds and pulls. It makes your body ache when it’s not aching today. The physical envy over chronic pain weighs on you, but you can get it back under control when you try to focus on something else.
However, when someone has emotional pain, what they envy may not just be things others have, but being envious of their peace of mind and enjoyment of life regardless of their situation.
You don’t see anxiety tied around their necks like a noose. You don’t see PTSD following them everywhere they go. You don’t see worry attached by ball and chain to their ankles.
Except for the usual concerns the emotionally well person is able to move forward with their lives and reach for their goals.
So how does a person let go of bitter envy and not let it control their lives anymore? The article, “A Helpful Guide to Overcoming Envy,” on becomingminimalist.com provides some ways to do so.
Just as the Bible verse above says, even if you harbor bitter envy you can make it worse by denying it. And don’t boast about yourself and what you have unless it comes from gratitude and not selfish ambition. You will soon find that your life will be filled with more joy and ugly envy will slip away.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.