My friends, I have to be honest with you… jealousy is a real struggle. As a 20-something young woman, halfway through my college career with no idea of what I want to do in the future, and single as can be, I’ll be the first to admit I have really been wrestling with a jealous heart for the past few months. It’s so easy to look around and compare our lives to everyone around us and instantly feel defeated.
If you’re anything like most young women today your jealous thoughts probably sound something like:
“I wish I knew exactly what was going to happen after graduation because everyone else already has it all figured out and I feel behind.”
“I wish I could have a relationship like them because they seem so much happier than me.”
“I wish I could look like her because maybe then that guy I like would notice me.”
“I wish I could travel and experience new places like her because I feel stuck in my boredom here.”
Sound familiar? This pattern of jealousy consumes us. We always seem to trick ourselves into wanting more and more. Our hearts turn towards these situations and people with a deep desire to achieve the same things. But, the more we turn our attention to our desires, the more jealous we become. This cycle of sin is so easy to feel trapped in as we constantly strive to keep up with everyone else around us.
This past week on campus, we had our first worship night of the new school year on one of our quads overlooking the sunset. As with any struggle, God showed up in his perfect timing. Classic… The second song of the night as the setting sun peeked out from behind the clouds with bursting reds, oranges, and yellows was “How He Loves” by David Crowder Band. If you’re not familiar with the song the very first line goes, “He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane I am a tree”. Wow God. Even though I had heard this song dozens of times before, God was calling out the jealousy in my heart that I had been storing up for several months.
In that moment of worship it finally clicked that for so long I have wasted time having a jealous heart towards that super adventurous, skinny, perfect girl who I had perceived to have it all together, that perfect relationship that I’m not ready for, and that incredible student who has a 4.0 with five different internship options lined up. Despite all that, at the end of the day, God is the only one who actually deserves my attention. God is jealous for our attention. I think it’s time we shift away from all the earthly situations that we put all our focus in and return our focus to the one who will never make us feel like we’re not enough. Proverbs 14: 30 says,
“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”
This week God has been teaching me that when my roots are firmly planted in his truth and I focus on him alone I am far less likely to be overwhelmed with jealousy in my heart. If you can relate to this struggle at all my challenge for you is to consider if there is a place in your heart where God is trying to call out the jealousy? Are you ready to shift that attention back to him? God does not want us to live our lives comparing ourselves to others and full of jealousy, he has called us worthy, beautiful, and enough by his grace alone.