Today's podcast episode is a topic we probably don’t find ourselves talking about with others because it can be a bit uncomfortable but it’s one I know we all deal with —it’s addressing our sins of jealousy and envy.
It just seems no matter where we are in life we can always find ourselves sinfully comparing ourselves to others. I would think at my age and life stage this would be over, but sadly it's not. How often do I find myself in my head comparing the circumstances of my life to others – too many!
Even though it may be just in my head, it's still a sin, and it may seem subtle, but it's not – all sin is an offense against God and one we must continue to do battle with.
When we find ourselves dealing with jealousy comparing ourselves to others or envious of others, it's like we're saying to God that we're not satisfied with what He's given us.When we find ourselves dealing with jealousy comparing ourselves to others or envious of others, it's like we're saying to God that we're not satisfied with what He's given us.
“If we are to successfully combat the temptations to envy and jealousy, we must mentally bring God into the picture. We must remind ourselves that He determines not only what abilities we have but also the degree of those abilities and the blessing He will bestow on their use.” ~ Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins
Jerry Bridges, in Respectable Sins, a book I most highly recommended you read, describes jealousy of “intolerance of rivalry.” He shares there are legitimate times to express jealousy, like when someone is trying to win your spouse away from you. Our God declares Himself to be a jealous God (Exodus 20:5). Our jealousy becomes sinful when we become afraid someone is going to be more successful or honored over us. King Saul's jealousy over David (Saul has struck down his thousands and David his ten thousand – 1 Samuel 18:7) is an example of Saul's jealousy over David because honor was given to David and not him. At that moment he saw him as a rival and jealousy took root.
Envy is defined by Jerry Bridges as:
“the painful and oftentimes resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by someone else. Sometimes we want that same advantage, leading to the further sin of covetousness. And sometimes we resent the other person having something we don't have. But we don't just envy people in general. Usually, there are two conditions that tempt us to envy. First, we tend to envy those with whom we most closely identify. Second, we tend to envy in them the areas we value most.”
Scriptures & Resources:
1 Samuel 18:7
Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges
Messy Beautiful Friendship: Finding and Nurturing Deep and Lasting Relationships by Christine Hoover
Listen & Download the Podcast: