Monday, October 27, 2008

How do we overcome.....


Before we married (and even after) Chad always said he is glad that I am not a jealous woman. Now, he is speaking in the "relationship" sense of things. I'm not one of those that is jealous for my husband having friends of the opposite sex. This is most commonly how jealously is viewed...between couples. This is not what I'm talking about.

Here is a story:
Once upon a time I was part of an organization that was focused on team building. We built teams that were able to work together on a number of great things. Each team picked a leader for their team and then everyone selected one person to be the overall leader of all the teams. Of course you could tell, this was based on popularity and who was better skilled in certain areas. It worked well for a while. A long while! And then you notice that that scary word "jealousy" takes over the group(s). Now what you see happening is each person trying to compete for each others spot, beg for the main leaders attention so they could move into a "spotlight" role, and everyone wants some type of affirmation and now the group is getting nowhere. What do you do? Have we failed? YES!

I failed as a leader to 'continue' to strive effective communication within the group, building each other up and striving to keep a level sense about it. I too, like them became a jealous person. Even as the leader!

The things I got jealous of were time, money, success of others, fairness, popularity, goal achieveing, personal abilities, etc.

I don't struggle with it as much today as I did 10 years ago, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't struggle with it at all. So I've been studying on how to try and overcome this and I am finding that it is more difficult than I realized. Why? Because this is one of the places that Satan knows he can attack me.

Look at what jealousy creates:
Bitterness, confusion, chaos, worthlessness, negative emotions, insecurity, anger, hatred, destroys communication, creates gossip, slander, persecutions, and puts distance between you and God.
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

Think of jealousy as a toxin in your body. (you know...I'm medical) Wouldn't you want to get the toxins out of your body before they lead to some physical path of destruction? Of course you would! So then why not do the same with the things that haunt your emotions?

What creates Jealousy?
Insecurity and the lack of self worth is a safe guess for me. If you are so worried about fitting in and being accepted, the overwhelming sense of jealousy will take over and cause so many problems within yourself. You won't get very far like this. In fact, you may get worse! This can lead to self-destruction and pride issues that will make others not want to be around you. Pride takes over and nobody likes to be around a prideful person! Galatians 5:26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

So how can we get over ourselves when we are like this?
When your life is consumed by jealousy, it's hard to recognize. When you have jealously just in one area, it's sometimes easier to notice within yourself and you want to get rid of it but don't know how! KNOWING that and recognizing it is best! If you can't recognize it, you are more than likely going to blame things on others.
Get motivated to move past this! Everyone wants to be loved, everyone wants to be noticed, and everyone wants to feel accepted! Wouldn't it be great if we could do that when GOD wants that for us instead of trying to create our own happiness and fulfillment? If you want a quick way to lower you self-esteem....become a jealous person! Quit looking to others for affirmation! The only person's opinion that matters of you is God's! This one...I've learned the hard way and really still struggle with it. But I am growing in his grace and love for me. Not someone elses!

Thoughts to ponder:
Do you trust God enough to give you what you need?
Do you desire to be an active "positive" participant in the group you are in?
Quit being selfish! When we focus on self, our eyes are off the only one that matters!
A jealous person is not an attractive person to anyone.
Find out what your motive is! Is it fear? Acceptance? Self worth?
Can you look at it from another's point of view?
Can you find out what is making you jealous? Is is a person, an action, etc?
Do you know all the facts? Are you making it more than what it really is?
Try to find another emotion to put in the place of jealousy!
Pray that God will take away these feelings and replace it with something good.

End of the story:
I am still an active part of the group mentioned in the beginning. I am the leader of 63 people and have been for 6+ years. We are all very unique in our own ways. Some have special gifts that I would only dream of having.
Does this make my job any more difficult? No. Because we are all on the same page. Does it make me jealous of them? Sometimes, but that's a personal issue within myself that I have to deal with between me and God, not them!
I have seen groups time and time again destroyed because of jealously among them and it is so sad! We don't have to have this in our lives. I am happy that in the beginning, our group adopted the rule that if there were ever any problems that should arise like this, they would take it to the person responsible that could fix the problem. If this person could not fix it, then we each had to find it within ourselves to know where to go inside ourselves for the answer. And that only answer comes from God. Jealously is not usually created by another person, but usually comes from a fear that we create within ourselves. Only one person can take that away! John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Father, I know I struggle with jealousy and I pray you deliver this from me today. I beg you to take any jealous thought I have in me and replace it with something good and pleasing to you. I pray that you help me understand YOUR will for me and realize that your will gives me all I could ever need. Help me to set my sights on Heavenly things and not the earthly things that don't really matter. Help me to love those that I have been jealous of. Help me and teach me to love them like you love them. Help me to seek the good in others and not myself. Help me to put my hope and trust in you. Help me to have a thankful heart. And Father, please help me to be humble in everything I do. Help me to be humble in my service to you and take away anything that may cause me to be prideful for that is not who I want to be. Grant me only the things that you wish for me to have that will make me a better servant for your kingdom. Amen.

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