Is there a person in your life, either a close friend, spouse, family member, or co-worker who seethes at your prosperity, wishing they had it? Do they see red when they gaze on your beauty, wishing it was them who was gorgeous? Do their eyes narrow in anger when they see you singing on the stage, and they’re not? Does that person become a fire-breathing dragon at work, wishing they could be in charge instead of you? Perhaps you’re receiving the social media attention they believe should be showered on them. It’s really blah-blah-blah at the number of scenarios I could generate.
The Silent Killer.
Oh really, Suzanne, killer? Come on. Aren’t you being a bit dramatic? No, I don’t believe I am. Jealousy is an emotion that festers when someone wants what the other person has, or it’s a feeling that something someone already has will be taken away; thus the phrase, she killed him in a jealous rage. There are countless stories featured on Dateline and on episodes of 20/20 if you don’t believe me. These stories of jealousy always end in some sort of disaster. No matter how you slice it, jealousy is really hate in disguise. Now, you might not be the object of this psychotic type of jealousy, but really, ANY form of it is detrimental to both parties.
How do you know if someone is jealous of you?
OH, YOU KNOW.
First of all, there’s the look. The jealous person has the look down to a science. The sheer fact that I am telling you about the look says that I, too, have it down. Have you seen it? It’s in their eyes. That sneer. I’ve seen it hundreds of times with certain people in my life. Second, they mask (apropos for these times) this ugly sneer with a cheap smile, but come on. We both know that if they could spew poisonous venom from their lips and kill us with it without going to prison, they would. Thirdly, their words give them away. With passive-aggressive tactics, they slay you with sarcastic and hurtful comments and then blame you by saying, You can’t take a joke. Lastly, if they’re jealous of your new purchase, they give back-handed comments like, Your new house is a great starter home, or I love your shirt, but my breasts are too big to wear that style. Ok enough of that…you get the idea.
How do you fix it?
No, I’m serious. You can’t. At first, you might try to reason it out (don’t bother). You might wonder why a successful, talented, and educated person could be jealous of you. Second, since we can’t understand it, we try to please them. Our gut tells us when the look is coming way before-hand, so to avoid the look, we try to accommodate them in every way possible, to include them in whatever we’re doing, to help them with a problem, to compliment them when we really don’t believe what we’re saying.
News Flash: Nothing you do can fix THEIR jealousy. You can fix YOUR jealousy, but only THEY can fix theirs. THEY own THEIR jealousy, and only THEY have the ability to get rid of it.
Nothing satisfies the jealous person. NOTHING. Even if the jealous person acquires everything you have, they will still be jealous. Why? Because their jealousy has nothing to do with you. You’re simply the object of it, the obvious person. Nevertheless, the sin of jealousy has made its home in their heart for whatever reasons unknown to you. Jealousy lives there and has become quite comfortable. So if you don’t mind receiving the look and the hurtful jabs to your heart, then go ahead. Go right on giving your attention to them; but remember the accommodations you make available to them, the problems you help to solve, the inclusions, the compliments you give? Yeah, maybe stop doing that, and start praying for God to change that angry, envious heart of theirs. He can do it! Only He can do the impossible.
In the meantime, there are things you can do FOR YOU. Perhaps stop hanging around them so much. Curtail your weekly phone chats. Leave them and their jealousy to the Lord.
Check out these accounts in the Bible where jealousy and envy ruined some really significant relationships:
- Cain murdered his brother, Abel, because he was jealous of the better sacrifice Abel made to God. (Genesis 4)
- Joseph’s brothers were so jealous of him that they killed him, or so they thought. (Genesis 37)
- Jacob was jealous of his brother Esau’s birthright and tricked him into the only blessing from their father. (Genesis 27)
- King Saul was so jealous of David’s favor from God that he lost the throne over it. (I Samuel 18)
- Rachel was beautiful but barren, and Leah was plain but fertile; two sisters battled it out for Jacob’s love. (Genesis 29-30)