On jealousy and greatness, by Hannah.
Ladies, listen up. I have something important to tell you.
Have you ever felt jealous toward a woman because she had something good? Maybe she was popular, talented, or clever. Perhaps she could afford better things, could be ladylike without trying, or finished a PhD. Maybe she always looks “on point”, while you vary between extremes of I-am-a-zombie and red-carpet-ready. Whatever it was that set you off, perhaps she reminded you of what you are not, or are still in the process of becoming.
Maybe you are bad at cooking, or your life feels messy. You could be more laid-back than ambitious, or the opposite: a perfectionist who will never be as cool and relaxed. Whatever it is – you’re not her. And it bugs you- but why?
We are meant to be in fellowship, not competition of one another, and if another woman is beautiful, it is not a threat to your beauty. If she is smart or financially well-off or interesting or spiritual, it does not mean that you lack these characteristics or capabilities. However, jealousy is rampant among women (and men – sin is common to us all), and this can be just as true among believers as non-believers.
Greed is a sin that is carnal in its nature, pitting people against one another and originating from a half-truth – THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE. There can only be one who is great, and it must be me. Yet isn’t this the narrative which is true of God, and not ourselves? Jealousy is disguised innocently, as the desire to become the best version of ourselves, when in fact it is meant to tear down the very people who possess the power to build each other up.
What is it that we really desire? Attention? Love? Recognition? Admiration? Greatness?
Let us ask two questions:
- Who are we trying to please?
She is not your enemy. She is not a threat to the calling which God has placed on your life. She is not the measure of your personal value, worth, or love. She is not your enemy. She is your sister. She is beloved of God. She is made to reflect His nature, and to bring Him glory – and so are you.
When you look at her with eyes of envy, she probably feels it, and it hurts her. When you practice jealousy, it also hurts yourself. It not only injures your self-image, but can cause you to lose sight of to whom we truly owe our admiration.
There can only be one who is great, and we can never surpass His greatness or His boundless love.
Let us not look toward the women or men around us with eyes of envy, but with grace, and trust that God has created us for a unique purpose and plan, and delights in us as His creation.
There can only be one.
– 1 Corinthians, 13:4 (NKJV)
Have you ever felt jealous of someone? Where did the envy come from, and how was it harmful to yourself or others?
To find out more about Hannah, visit our writer’s page.