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How to Know If You're Jealous

Today I had a very honest and refreshing conversation with a [ministry] friend who was embarrassed to admit that he thought he was struggling with jealousy. He wasn’t sure if it was full-blown jealousy or if it was just a fleeting emotion.

Unfortunately, I’ve had some personal experience with this emotion and gave him my “how to tell” indicator. I also told him that I’d ask my blog friends to chime in (so, I would love your thoughts on this topic).

My friend’s “unsure” feelings are directed toward a co-worker who is getting a lot more attention from the senior pastor than he is. He feels like he is always vying for time with the senior pastor, and doesn’t get it, and this co-worker gets it all the time.

I don’t mean to oversimplify it, but I told him that when a friend or co-worker succeeds and you can’t bring yourself to celebrate, that’s a sign that you’re dealing with jealousy.

I encouraged him to get in the habit of celebrating this guy and his ministry. I challenged him to start working on that feeling even if he didn’t feel like it. I don’t think you can wait until you feel like it to celebrate others, I think you’ve got to celebrate until you feel it.

When jealousy resides in your soul, it slowly hardens your heart and will eventually impact your ministry. But, when celebration becomes a habit, jealousy doesn’t grow and conquer your soul. You keep from creating rivals with innocent people. You’re saying, “I’m not going to allow envy to have free reign in my life.”

So, what’s your antidote to jealousy? How do you keep it from having free reign in your life? Let’s learn from one another. I’ll compile a list and include it in a future post…let your ideas be heard.   

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Doug Fields has been in youth ministry since 1979 and former pastor to students at Saddleback Church in Southern California. He's the author of 50+ books, including the best-selling Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry & Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry. He's also the founder of Simply Youth Ministry, an instructor at Azusa Pacific University/HomeWord, and on the leadership team with Youth Specialties. You can connect with Doug through his blog at www.downloadyouthministry.com! More from Doug Fields or visit/subscribe to Doug's blog at www.dougfields.com