Jealousy and insecurity affect most of us more than we know. They can affect friendships, family relationships, and our relationship with Jesus. If we can recognize and overcome these feelings, we can draw closer to God and others and live a more joyous and abundant life.
Jealousy and Insecurity
Hi, it’s Kimberly from Well Christian Woman,
I want to dive right in today by asking a question for us to consider as we’re talking through something that I’ve been thinking about and trying to recognize in my life.
“Do we as women struggle with insecurity and jealousy in ways that we often don’t even recognize?’
Not to say that men are immune to this because I think they share these same feelings, although sometimes I think they may manifest themselves in different ways. However, I want to focus on us and some of the ways that I think we struggle with this as women, often without even recognizing it for what it is.
There’s the obvious things like people’s fame and fortune and success and good looks and all those things, but I think there are a lot of more subtle ways that we can feel jealous and insecure that maybe we don’t recognize. Things like jealousy over our friend’s husband who we feel is more supportive or does more for us than ours does. Maybe we’re jealous because our friend is a great baker and gets lots of applause for that, or their house is perfectly decorated all the time or their kids get awards and get recognition for things that maybe ours don’t… and on and on it goes.
It depends on who you are and which thing triggers insecurity in you. Something that you somehow don’t feel good about that triggers your insecurities, and that would be different for me, right? We’re all different, but I think there are so many things that affect us that we may not even see. It has ripple effects because when we feel that, it’s going to affect the people around us, like our families, so there’s fallout for that, again maybe not even in ways that we recognize.
What if we knew the story behind some of these people? What if the person we looked at and thought oh you have this great job and here I am I’m a stay at home mom, what if we knew that actually what they want most is to have a baby but they’re not able to. Would that change how we feel about them and that jealousy?
What if we knew that perfect house and decoration, that great cook who’s always perfectly dressed and who’s children are always perfect at everything, what if we knew that she lived in an abusive relationship and it wasn’t so perfect?
There are lots of possible back stories like that, but that’s just an example to help us try to think about things in a different light. Maybe that’s not true. Maybe life is just that perfect for them. That’s not the point. The biggest point is about our feelings and how we’re allowing that to affect our lives negatively and the lives of people around us.
I think that there are many ways that this negative effect happens and one is that it tears us down. It’s a quick fix to say something negative about something or someone or even to feel it if we don’t voice it aloud. Inevitably, tearing someone else down doesn’t change them but it does change us. It doesn’t make us happy, in fact quite the opposite because within no time, not only do we do this negative thing, but then we feel guilty about it, then we feel bad again the next time. It doesn’t make us feel any better.
We’re also a bad example when we tear others down. Your kids, if you have kids, hear all of that, or the friend you’re talking to as you tear someone else down. Whoever it is around you, it’s a bad example and it’s impacting them negatively as well.
If it’s someone that you’re actually in a relationship with like a friend or colleague or neighbour, it’s going to interrupt your relationship even if you never speak it aloud. It’s going to create barriers there and you’re going to fail to speak life into them because you have these feelings.
Above all else, it’s dishonoring to God. We’re not living as God would have us live both for ourselves and for the people around us when we do things like that. I know that I am often fooling myself, and some of the most embarrassing and shameful thoughts or even things I voiced aloud, are rooted in some sort of insecurity or jealousy about someone.
I don’t know about you but I have these intentions that I”m just not going to do that again and it lasts for about 5 minutes until the next time I see their perfectly decorated house or whatever it is that triggers those emotions in us.
James speaks to this in James 3:16-18:
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:16-18
So it doesn’t just have to stop there with good intentions. By ourselves we have a hard time actually carrying through if you’re anything at all like me. I think there are ways that we really can try to recognize and create change and the first is recognizing it and actually thinking about it and being purposeful and intentional in trying to change negative thoughts into positive thoughts.
I think the biggest way we do this is by prayer, so pray intentionally, pray purposefully, pray in advance if you know that you;re putting yourself into a situation that has triggered those feelings in the past.
Be intentional about trying to live as God would have us live, treat others and think about others the way Jesus would treat them or think about them. That, I feel, can be a big game changer for us.
I know I’m trying to work on this and it’s something that’s a constant thing that I think we need to work on because as soon as you recognize one thing I feel that there’s another one that then comes on your radar.
I just hope that while I’m working on this we can all be doing this together.
If you have any thoughts or comments we’d love to hear you. Come join us on wellchristianwoman.com and I hope you have a great day!