Jealousy is the worm that will eat up your life. Dryden said that it is, “the jaundice of the soul”.
There will always be someone with a better spouse, a bigger house, a brighter child. No matter how hard you work or how carefully you invest, there will always be someone with more money than you have. How many times have you heard someone tell about their vacation that was far more exciting, even thrilling, than any one you ever had. Jealousy inflicts misery. Jealousy is always a choice. You do not have to be jealous.
Contentment is also a choice. Paul while a prisoner in Rome wrote to the church in Philippi saying, “I have learned in whatsoever situation I am, to be content” (Philippians 4:11).
He went on to say, “I know how to be brought low, I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need” (Philippians 4:12).
Take it as it comes and be grateful. A jealous person is forever an unthankful person, and we are ordered by the Scripture to “give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus” (I Thessalonians 5:18). It may be good to remember just as there are those who have more than you do, there are others who have less than you and may be jealous of you!
You see others’ possessions but you do not see their problems. Hankering after what others have is covetousness and covetousness is idolatry (Colossians 3:5).
Jealousy will make you sour, bitter, resentful and miserable. Contentment will fill you to overflowing with joy as it did the apostle Paul who as a prisoner wrote the little letter that mentions joy and rejoicing 18 times and tells us “Rejoice in the Lord always, and I again I say rejoice” (Philippians 4:4).
You are responsible for your character, that is, who you are. But, you’re not always responsible for your circumstances. Focus on what you can change – yourself.
King Ahab was jealous of Naboth’s beautiful vineyard. Because he had power, his jealousy drove him to seize the vineyard. But Ahab, paid with his life for his jealousy (I Kings 21:1-19).