I was having a hard time keeping up with the conversation. The girls in front of me at the store were having an animated conversation with each other and I could barely keep up.
I wasn’t exactly eavesdropping because they were talking so loud the people from cashier #4 could hear them – just so you know.
The reason I was having a hard time keeping up was that they were using a lot of slang terms I wasn’t familiar with. That is until I heard the word “Jelly”. Jelly, for those of you who don’t run in the same eavesdropping while shopping circle as I do, is slang for jealous.
Now, this girl was Jelly as Jam, which apparently means really, really jealous – with a cherry on top.
I have no idea what the outcome of the conversation was because my mind traveled back to when I was Jelly much of the time.
Jealousy would rear it’s ugly head up like a crazy whack-a-mole game. I would try to suppress my jealousy over someone and POP! Another source of jealousy would spring up. When I would try to handle that, the first one would pop up again.
Sometimes I felt like I was jealous of everyone and every situation.
Jealousy can look different every time. It can look like me thinking of all of the other person’s faults so mine don’t seem as bad.
It can look like self-focusing so that all of the attention is on me – even though it’s my own attention.
It can be me getting distracted by wanting what someone else has or looks like. Where they live, what they own, how much money is in their bank account. How they were educated, who their family is, what their job is. The talents they have, the opportunities they have, and even the gifts God has given them.
I think I can even be jealous of what I once was or what I might be in the future. Jealousy is a weird thing!
Jealousy is dangerous because it causes other feelings and actions. It can create hate, dishonesty, pride, dishonor, lying, cheating, arguments, discontentment, selfish ambition, idolatry, conceitedness. Should I go on? No? Heard enough?
I’ve learned that the way to combat jealousy starts with prayer. First, I thank God for the many, many blessings He has given me. I recognize, in my heart, that God is in control and provides everything He wants for me to have.
Next, I pray for myself. I ask for forgiveness. When I am jealous, I am basically saying that God doesn’t know what he’s doing or He is not doing something right. I pray that God will do a work in my heart and help me to stand against jealousy through His strength. I ask God to remind me of the blessings He has given me. Sometimes I even make a list of the blessings. I focus on thankfulness and gratitude and the One who gives all good things.
Finally, I pray for the person or situation I am jealous of. I ask God to bless them. To show them favor. I pray that the blessings He has given them will bring them to a closer relationship with Christ and bless others.
So, how’s it working out for me? On my own, not so good. But with the Lord’s help, those unexpected Jelly moments are pretty short-lived and I can whack them with God’s truth until they don’t come back.
Lord, you have given me every good gift and I know you have good plans for me. Please forgive me for the times I look around me and think that other’s gifts are better than mine. Help me to look to you, the giver of every good gift, and not focus on what others have.