3 Steps I Took To Overcome Jealousy
Updated: May 1, 2020
A number of years ago I was a staff Worship Leader at a church in the UK. I absolutely loved it, in many ways it was my dream job. The church was incredible, the people I worked with were world class, and best of all we had become great friends.
I had a great working relationship with all of my peers and colleagues yet there was one in whom I had developed a watchful eye. I would compare myself to him. Every time his songs would succeed or opportunities opened up for him I would feel a little tainted. It was as though his success was my failure.
I didn't think too much of it, until one day there was an unforeseen conflict involving the two of us. The issue was incidental and unintentional - it wasn't a huge deal, but my reaction was. I was surprised at my visceral backfire... it was certainly disproportionate to the incident. The reality was, I had felt overlooked and unfavoured.
I knew there was some justification of my feelings, but why had my reaction been so intense?
I was unaware of my Jealousy.
I knew there was something deeper than the circumstantial conflict and that I needed to get to the root of it before I could move forward.
The steps below were my path forward... helping me to break free from the misery of jealousy. They have also become a framework to process to shut the door on any jealous thoughts that come my way.
1. Ask for help
The first thing I did (after overtly arguing my case to my boss) was to to contact a trusted woman in the church who offered private prayer. I didn’t know her well, but she was the first person that came to mind when I recognised I needed help with my issue. I contacted her and I booked the first available prayer session.
When we sat down together she asked me a bunch of questions and unpacked my side of the story. Then she simply started to pray.
She asked the Holy Spirit to come and convict me. There was nothing forced or hyped. It was simple and straight to the point.
As she led the prayers, there was a moment when she asked me to confess. At first I wasn’t sure what to confess? I was like "What do I have to confess? I'm in the right here" But, under her encouragement, I began to speak… “I’m sorry Lord… sorry for um… God I’m sorry for… ummm… Lord, Holy Sprit would you…ummm help me ummm confess….” and as I fumbled through the prayer my confession followed….
"I am so jealous! … I am so jealous of (my colleague)… “Lord I am jealous of his songs… I’m jealous of his success… I’m jealous… I’m so sorry Lord for being jealous.”
I began to weep.
I it was that exact moment that repentance set me free. It was like someone took a thorn out of my heart. The thorn was out of my heart and cast onto Jesus.
It was then that my patient prayer assistant began to lead me in a prayer of blessing, “Ok now I want you to pray a prayer of blessing” she said.
Great! I thought. Now I can ask the Lord to bless me cause I’ve confessed my sin.
She continued, “I want you to bless (colleague). Ask God to bless his songwriting. Ask God to bless his career, ask God to bless his worship”
Oh my Goodness! I was the one needing blessing!
But I obeyed.
It was hard, but again, it was freeing. I was empowered. Jealousy had lost its power, and blessing had gained authority.
Jealousy is a threat to a worshiping heart. It wastes our energy and it distracts us. It holds in contempt all the good things God has given us because it says “what I have isn’t good enough, I want what he has…”
Christ has the power to set us free from jealousy.
So my encouragement is, when jealousy becomes a threat 1. Ask for help 2. Confess 3. Bless
Galations 5.1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."