How to be happy for others when they get what you want

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Jealousy is a common feeling. Before the digital revolution, it was easier to hide it. Now, temptation is everywhere: can we escape its tentacles? Before I justify my yes, let me confess something to you:

I have been jealous of my Facebook friends’ national vacations;
I have been jealous of their international trips;
I have been jealous of the freedom I think their wealth gives them.

I know what jealousy feels like. I dislike that feeling. 

I know I’m supposed to feel happy for others. How in the world do we get there? How do you do it when you feel like you deserve what the other has? 

Jealousy is less about the object of my covetous ways and more about the estate of my heart. Jealousy is a clear sign that I covet something. 

The Bible is very clear about coveting something the other has. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, his make servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” Deuteronomy 5:21 (NKJV) 

Coveting has been around for a long time. This is the last of the Ten Commandments. As God dictated this command to Moses, I wonder if like me, he noticed how specific God was. God covered eight categories with the last one being all inclusive. 

The first step is to get on the same page as God. God is good. God doesn’t want me to covet. When I covet, I tell God, “your provision for me is not enough.” The more I know Him, the more I realize that God wants what’s best for me. 

The second step requires some action on my part because if I won’t challenge jealousy, I won’t change it. Coveting happens in the most unexpected moments. Often, we get that ugly feeling when we’re browsing on social media. We see it, we sense it and became desensitized unless we challenged it. 

How do you challenge the feeling of jealousy? As soon as you feel jealous, Recognize it for what it is. There’s no reason to pretend you’re not jealous. The goal is not to stay jealous. 
Repent. Ask God for forgiveness. He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

Rediscover God’s best for you. In my case, I realized that God is good. He does not give bad gifts. One day, I too will travel internationally. God has a purpose for this season in my life. When I find contentment, jealousy quickly has to leave. 

Relentlessly pray for the object of your jealousy. Why? When you can pray blessings over their life, that means you have a clean heart before God and jealousy does not have a hold on you.

Remember, if you won’t challenge it, you won't change it. 

If you are my friend on social, please don’t block me. Please, don’t stop posting those perfect vacation photos. I have learned that God’s best for me is to quickly get rid of jealousy so I can have a joyous heart. 

Another tip: if being jealous is a big challenge because of what you constantly see on social, try to take a break. Whatever you do, don’t announce you are taking a social media break. Quietly make your exit with the purpose of applying the 3 Rs: Recognize, Repent, Rediscover. When you come back, your heart will be molded by God. Don’t try to do any of this apart from God’s word. Whatever the word touches, it changes. I know it will change your heart.