One of the biggest issues I have dealt with in college is jealousy. It’s not been an “I’m jealous of them” but a deep-rooted bitterness I could not acknowledge as jealousy until I was nearly freed from it. I was jealous of relationships, I was jealous of people I thought were “stealing” my calling, and I was jealous of those who were “further” in their relationship than Jon and I.
I wasted nearly half of my time in college wallowing in bitterness and self-hate due to an overwhelming amount of jealousy. No matter how much you preach self-love or the promotion of feminism and unity of women, the exact things you speak against can still plague your life. It wasn’t until the past few months that I became aware of the negative affects jealously had on my life and began to break its hold on me.
Psalm 139:23-24 says, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” This is kind of a terrifying prayer. It’s asking God to change and mold you. If you’ve ever been through this process, you know it can be painful. You see yourself in a real and honest way and it is the first step to breaking the hold jealousy can have on us.
I asked God to show me why I was so bitter and angry at certain people. The first thing He said? “Pray for them.” I was immediately like “uhh no way they suck. What am I gonna pray for? Them to not be awful!?” (Yes, I know… horrible thoughts but I’ve got to be real.) God shook me and asked me to really pray for them like I would pray for my best friend or for my family. So I did. I prayed nearly every day that God would strengthen them and promote them in His Name, that their faith would not waver and the fruit of their life would be endless. This was one of the most difficult prayers I have ever prayed. Every time I thought a bad thought, I would stop myself and pray.
Eventually, I began to see them in the way I was praying for them. My heart didn’t get heavy when I heard their name or saw them. But rather I felt myself constantly cheering them on and wanting to encourage them. And then… jealously took a new turn for me. The jealousy of watching others get engaged even though I knew Jon and I weren’t ready for it.
1 Corinthians 3:3 says “You are still worldly. For there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?” Ouch, huh? Why in the world was I jealous of a ring on someone’s finger when I knew I would not be ready for marriage? Was it the rush to grow up? The rush to show people we were “serious”? So, what!? I am young. Jon and I love each other. We are working to better ourselves and our relationship with God and we don’t need to show people “maturity” by getting married. I was adding unnecessary pressure to our relationship by wanting the symbol of a ring on my left hand.
Psalm 131 states “I am content.” Be content and humble with who you are. By putting others first you can become more like Christ. Psalm 143:8-9 says “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for I entrust you my life. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord, for I hide myself from you.” Your enemies are not the people you are jealous of but rather the jealous thoughts that plague your mind. Let God enter your life by praying for your faults to be revealed and for healing to begin.
The last pang of jealousy I felt happened around October. God is now showing me just how amazing my life and purpose are and how no one can steal that from me. Running at your own pace can often bring up jealousy or insecurities but running at your own pace also allows God to enter your life at full-force. Jealousy enters in such a casual, cool way. Address the bitter-roots of your life to conquer the plague of jealousy.