Everyone has heard the popular verse Philippians 4:13 “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” but have you heard the verse right before that one?
Philippians 4:12 Apostle Paul says “I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.” and Paul is in prison during this time.
So what do we do when we, as Christians, find ourselves being jealous of others and asking God why He is not showing up in our life but yet seems to be present in everyone else’s lives around us. Social media is a perfect platform for jealousy and discontentment. Comparing someones outsides (what they want you to see) to your insides (what you know goes on behind closed doors) is unrealistic but we fall into this way of thinking without even realizing what is happening.
The ONLY answer to this is to ask yourself, where is my focus? I have struggled with this for so long and still find myself reverting back to my old ways at times. I have to quickly readjust my thinking and it takes a very intentional way of thinking to recognize and correct it. First thing I do is pray and give it over to God. I ask Him to clean me from the inside out, to give me a pure heart and to keep the feeling of jealousy away from me. I want to live the right way and I know jealousy only breeds sin which makes me and God very unhappy. I know that God is the perfect father that will provide for His children, I have to trust Him…I WANT to trust Him…He tells us to trust Him.
When I get jealous of others (and it can be over anything, big/small) it doesn’t matter. I remind myself to focus on my blessings that God has given me in my life. I take my focus off of them and onto myself. I know that sounds selfish but just hear my out for a minute. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t but it is a quick way to focus on what God has blessed me with and to be happy about that at a moments notice. When I focus what I have instead of what I don’t have, the feeling of discontentment withers.
If I can’t see my own blessings at that time I will find myself making myself a victim. I will realize that I am making excuses and arguing with God about why I deserve it and they don’t. So then I try the next strategy (my favorite one) is to focus on others (not those that you are jealous of) which I may try that since that thought just popped into my head. How hard would that be??? To serve and bless those that you are jealous of….WOW! I have never tried that but will and I will report my findings. Alright, back on track, when I can’t see the blessings in my life or still feel discontentment and jealousy I focus on those around me that may be struggling. It is not one that comes natural because if you are down and feeling like a victim the last thing you want to do is help someone else. But taking that focus off of myself helps me get a better perspective on what really matters in this life. This strategy has never failed me. It has always lifted me up when I take advantage of the opportunity to make someone else smile.
Another thing to be careful about is just the opposite. When things are going good and seem to be lining up in life, be careful not to boast. When we bring the attention to be on us rather than God it comes across to others that we are bragging. Does bragging bring others closer to Christ? No, instead they walk away probably thinking a few different things; that we are full of ourselves or down because they feel we are better than them, or them asking God why isn’t He blessing them. They feel alone and depressed when they here a testimony that revolves around “how great your life is”. When you share your testimony (and we all have one) make sure to keep “your” portion short (it is NOT about YOU), keep God’s promises the main subject and ALWAYS help the other person reflect on their life and how God is/can/will always be working in their life. Stay humble and remember that the purpose of this life is to help other see the love of Christ and to show them that they have a personal relationship with Him and that He loves them!
When you show someone that and they smile…it does something to the soul that nothing of this world can even start to compare to. No matter what size your house is or what you are wearing…God satisfies so deep that you can’t help to not only be content but sincerely be happy for others. I am so grateful God is letting us be a part of His story.
Be happy my friends.
Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. –Psalm 107:8-9