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How to Kill the Hidden Power of Jealousy

When it comes to our friends and peers …

Our default mode is always to be envious. The only way to fight that is to celebrate what others have accomplished instead of reveling in how they’ve failed.

People can tell by your speech when you have devalued another human being. They can see by your face when you’re bitter at people who are “further along.” You find it harder to be compassionate, and you go for cynicism and grossly inappropriate speculation.

Yet if you can truly lift up someone above yourself, you’ll be free of the prison of jealousy. You will extract the roots of bitterness and anger. And it takes two seconds.

You’ll soon become the kind of person that others want to hang out with, including yourself—and you won’t be the hater who argues with angry counterpoints by reblogging blogs and getting as serious as a stick in the butt. Even you don’t like that guy.

Deeper than all this is the root of jealousy. What are you really saying when you fall into a comparison trap?

“God, you owe me more than this. A better universe, existence, opportunities, experiences, life, people, family—even a better car would do.”

It’s not enough to just raise up other people then. It’s a fundamental root issue with God: Because you’re really saying, “He’s not enough. He doesn’t satisfy. He doesn’t see me. He doesn’t know what He’s doing.”

Honestly, I’m tired of doing this. I’m tired of shaking my fist at God when I see someone more attractive than me. I’m tired of trying to be the guy with the better story all the time. I’m exhausted by thinking I know better than God, because I don’t, and the more I think I do, the more I run myself into the ground.

The Gospel tells me that I deserved nothing, but God gave me everything.

Jesus could’ve stayed in Heaven in paradise—but he became poor so that we might be rich. He was crucified so we could live with him forever.

That revokes all my fist-shaking, foolish temper tantrums. Then I’m just a bug trying to flag down a helicopter. In my moronic selfishness, I forget that God is gloriously powerful and that it’s all His story, and not mine. I forget He’s actually been pretty good to me, too.

The clay does get to say a few things to the potter, but I’m thankful that I even have a potter at all, and that He cares, and that everything good is from Him, and anything else is not for me to worry about, because God’s on it.

It’s that icky word surrender, which doesn’t go over in our culture very well.

But the second you do that, your teeth unclench. Your fists lower. Your heart stops pounding and you quit getting all twitchy every time someone does something slightly better. We no longer hurt ourselves by our comparison games.

Instead, you surrender to the God who made you you, and you accept who you are. You quit trying to have the best of all worlds. We quit trying to be perfect. We quit trying to be God.

It turns out, I can get myself out of the way and celebrate others.

It turns out, God really is God, and He’s gifted me with all grace to let go of my petty weapons and build this next generation for His glorious story.

You and I—let’s lay down our arms and fight this good fight together.  

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Former atheist/agnostic, fifth degree black belt, recovered porn addict, and youth pastor in Tampa, FL. B.A. in Psychology from USF and a MDiv from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Have a German shepherd named Rosco, can eat five lbs. of steak in one sitting, and gave away half my salary this year to fight human trafficking. I blog regularly on my main site and my Tumblr for struggling Christians.