Welcome back ladies(and gents) ! I missed you !
I want to tackle a topic we are all too familiar with but don’t really like talking about. It’s uncomfortable. Because jealousy is such an ugly thing, nobody wants to admit that they’ve been jealous. Who wants to admit they’re a hater? Not me! It’s easier to assume everybody is jealous of you. However, if we’re being honest, we’ve all been jealous of something or someone at least once in our life. Today, I want to look at how jealousy causes us to produce more pain in our lives. What happens when we nurture this feeling in our heart, consciously or unconsciously?
Let’s start by defining jealousy. It’s “feeling resentment because of another’s success, advantage” etc. Resentment is “a feeling of displeasure or indignation, even causing insult or injure”. So jealousy is basically us feeling offended, insulted, by what somebody else has that we do not have. Isn’t that crazy? This type of negative emotion can lead us to act out of desperation, and Leah is the perfect example.
We can find the story in Genesis 29, but here’s the Quick Esther Version: Jacob was crazy in love with Rachel and served 7 years to marry her but he got tricked and ended up with Leah. After 14 years, he finally got the woman of his dreams, Rachel, and obviously loved her more than her sister, Leah. Wouldn’t you be jealous? I would.
However, when Leah realized she could give birth and her sister could not, she put all her energy in producing something she thought would earn her the love she was yearning for and I believe that’s what jealousy leads us to do in our lives; to put all our energy into getting the thing we’re jealous of but we just end up producing painful memories. We focus on the things we don’t have in our lives and try to make up for it by using our own strength, using all the tools we can. Leah gave birth to many sons, but she didn’t find peace and love in it. She was just producing pain. It wasn’t until she decided to pause and praise God for what she did have that she found rest. She finally detached her worth from her fertility. She stopped reducing herself to this one thing.
See, because she had low self-esteem and compared herself to her sister, we never hear about the talents of Leah or her personality. Maybe she was kind, patient, romantic, a great mother. Maybe she had an entrepreneurial spirit, was organized etc… but she is just remembered as the girl who wasn’t loved because that’s what she reduced herself to.
Jealousy will have us reducing ourselves to everything we do not have, ignoring everything we do have and forgetting that our identity is not in what we do or do not have. Let’s be honest with ourselves. We need to learn how to count our blessings, be content and praise God. Trust that He knows best.
Ladies and gentlemen (because men are jealous too), jealousy is not a good source of motivation. If you’re willing to go the extra mile out of jealous motives, then jealousy is an idol in your life, you’re a slave to it and it controls you. Identify what triggers jealous feelings in your heart. Somebody’s wealth? Love story? Status? Fame? Title? You can pursue it all you want but if your motives are bad, you’ll just be stuck producing more pain, because we will never truly be satisfied or content.
God is sovereign and I believe that there’s some things we will never understand. However, I trust and believe that He has a plan for each and everyone of us, so let’s not let jealousy rob us of our joy and peace. Let’s rejoice with those who are rejoicing, count our blessings and praise God !