Over the years, I’ve spent countless hours aimlessly scrolling through social media. More than I would care to admit. Most days I find myself comparing my entire life to a small 5×5 screen. I start by comparing my makeup skills (or my lack thereof) then I hop on over to my financial status and wrap it up with my God ordained relationship. My intentions are to connect but instead of connection, I find myself more disconnected than before.
We can sugar coat the nasty inclination we get but we both know it’s jealousy. We get jealous of the other person’s success in an area that we feel deficient in. It starts off as innocent but one day we wake up and our entire focus is set on the lives of others. Instead of walking in our true God given identity we are more interested in trying to fit our foot into someone else’s shoe.
I typically write about seasons that I am coming out of. But this has been a very long and hard season. To say that I have mastered the three steps below would be complete deception. I’ll give the disclaimer that I am a work in progress; currently experiencing major reconstruction. The plus is that my heart is malleable. That is the first step in our journey to overcome jealousy.
Confess that you have a problem.
As with any addiction, admitting that you have a problem is the first and most important step. Nothing extravagant happens by just admitting but it does affirm that your heart is ready for a change. It’s a declaration that you are sick and tired of being discontent. This step is the warm up for the real game you are about to enter. Hold on to your britches ladies, it’s about to get bumpy.
Have someone in your corner willing to keep you accountable.
Step two can go in two directions. You can absolutely love the healthy criticism or end up hating your accountability partner. This is why it will be vital to appoint someone you have no problem hearing the truth from. This pal will need to lose the sugar coating and be willing to deliver some ugly truth. I have found that my accountability partner does this quite well.
Some days I love the truth and others, well let’s just say my gears go grinding. But even on the days that I have a hard time accepting the truth, I know it’s for the best. I am also confident that my accountability partner has my best interest at heart. I have studied this person and know that her loyalty stands true. After all, she’s known me since the point of conception.
Keep your focus on your own lane.
This step will require not only accountability but a whole lot of will power. It is easy to get stuck in the same ole routine. Actually, it is scientifically proven that you have built a neuropathway when making the same choice over and over again. Each time you have logged into your social media platform and envied over post after post, you have created a pathway. The only way to break the pathway is to make a different choice.
The better portion is to choose to focus on your own lane. This will require you to navigate away from those things that cause you to compare. If this means you have to go on a Facebook fast, so be it. Maybe this will require you to pray against temptation before you tap that Instagram app. Either way, you have to make a different choice.
Staying focused on your own lane will also require that you remain thankful for everything you have been given. I know a lady from church who gives thanks for EVERYTHING. She gives thanks for her parking spots, for new acquaintances and even good weather. There is nothing that escapes her gratitude. I am most certain that her thankful heart keeps her from straying into someone else’s lane.
The reason that thankfulness keeps us from wondering is that when we are thankful, we are declaring that we have all that we need. This means the more we focus on what God has placed in our lane, the more we yearn to invest in those things. Gratitude makes a drastic shift in one’s attitude.
Find your identity in Christ alone.
Where is your identity currently found? Is it in your children or marriage? Maybe it’s found in acceptance from others. Because if it isn’t in Christ, I can guarantee that it’s found in something. There are numerous portions of scripture that point us to the importance of knowing our identity. My favorite can be found in the story of Hosea and Gomer.
Hosea and Gomer’s story is one of heroic love but also misplaced identity. For those of you who don’t know, it is also a parallel for God’s relationship with Israel. To make a long story short, Hosea marries Gomer, a woman of whoredom, and makes her his bride. Gomer decides that she is no longer satisfied with their marriage and leaves back to her old life.
The reason that Gomer went back to her old life of promiscuity was that she hadn’t accepted her new identity as Bride. The reason Israel served other gods is that they hadn’t accepted their identity of chosen. It’s the same reason that you and I lose sight of our grass and start looking over the fence. We haven’t stepped into our true identity. This can only be done when we take God at His word.
Taking God at His word.
The final step in our journey to freedom is making the choice to take God at His word. I use the word “choice” because it won’t come naturally. It will take a stirring of your will to believe that what His word says is TRUE. The Bible is filled with hundreds of descriptions about who you are.
It says things like…
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalms 139:14)
You are chosen, holy and beloved. (Colossians 3:12)
You are adopted and can cry “Abba Father.” (Romans 8:5)
You are a child of God. (John 1:12)
You are His. (Psalms 100:3)
These morsels of truth are meant to be tattooed on your heart. They are the promises that will pick you up out of your pit and set you on a rock. You won’t be envious of Jane’s marriage when you know you are the beloved. Sally’s promotion won’t look shiny when you believe you are the chosen. Walking in our identity takes us out of chaos and into our security in Christ.
I’m making the choice to overcome jealousy and pray that you would join me. I would love to recognize your declaration. Be sure to comment below with the statement “I kissed jealousy goodbye.” If you found this article to be helpful, try sharing it with your friends and family. You can do so by using the share options below this post.
Until next time sweet friends,