I have pondered over jealousy and being judgemental for months now and while sometimes I felt thorns in my side when my conscience attacked me, I felt liberated by some scriptures that helped me realize why indulging in any of these behaviors didn’t spell any disaster for anyone but myself.
Let’s talk about jealousy for a bit…what is jealousy? an aggravated feeling of envy? a dangerous mix of resentment and bitterness that fuels rivalry between two people? I thought about this for a long time and I just had to settle for resentment and bitterness. But why do people get jealous? Most often we get jealous when someone else is doing better than we are. Some of us look at our colleagues and say “Why do I have to work so hard when everything just comes easy for her?” “Why is it that she is so pretty and everyone likes her?” Jealousy sometimes reveals itself in more bitter ways. Person A says to Person B “Jen is so beautiful! I just love spending time with her.” Person B responds “Oh please! There’s nothing special about her, I’ve seen people that are a lot more beautiful”. Yeah i have done that a few times and even watched many of my friends get sucked up in their jealous emotions.
In some cases, jealousy even leads to being judgemental. We say things like “Miss X spent most of her teenage years standing by the roadside and selling her body for money yet she got married to a billionaire that adores her. I have kept myself holy and I have only worshipped God but I can’t even get a decent guy, even an unemployed one to show me some love. How does a prostitute like Miss X get everything when a holy worshipper like me is suffering?”
How mny times have such thoughts crossed your heart? How many times have you condemned others for their choices simply because they are not in tune with yours? How many times have you looked at other people and thought to yourself “thank God I am nothing like her. God only wants people like me.” How often do you set yourself on a high throne and look down at others simply because you speak “Christianese”? How many times has a sister stumbled in her walk with Christ and instead of showing some love and correcting her with gentleness, you are delighted when she is suspended from the church workforce and bask in the possibility that people will start to notice you?
These were some of the thoughts that poked me in ths side from time to time. Though I did not struggle with jealousy, I struggled with being judgemental. I could judge someone from the hair on their head to the sole of their feet. As a matter of fact, I was the queen of judges until God taught me a very good lesson. Okay, to be honest, one lesson did not cut it. It took many lessons and I am still learning. Sadly, being judgemental is most common in the church; a place that ought to be filled with love these days is filled with looks of criticism, acts of resentment, masks of hypcrisy and tongues of judgement. It is most common amongst us women. We resent Miss High heels for her awesome taste in shoes, Miss white teeth for her beautiful smile, Miss perfect style for all her beautiful dresses and even Miss beautiful voice for the fact that she can sing beautifully.
In the midst of all our jealousy and being judgemental, we waste precious time that we could spend on ourselves. We waste time looking to see if Miss High heels will trip and fall on her way out so we can have some form of satisfaction in our hearts, we wish Miss flawless skin would be attacked by bees and have scars on her face that no amount of bio oil can fade and we even pray Miss beautiful voice will get a sore throat that might lead to bronchitis so she can’t sing for a long time. Sometimes, we take the front seat and watch everyone, with our pharisee glasses on and our christianese tongues at the ready, we judge and judge, forgetting that we have our own faults.
Here’s what i think: To be jealous, you must be unhappy with yourself, unhappy with the way God created you, ungrateful for the blessings He as bestowed upon you, forgetting that God has put something special in you. Instead of being jealous, why not admire that person and ask God to show you your hidden talents and take joy in them?
To be judgemental, it means you consider yourself better than most. You exalt yourself above everyone else and you believe you have attained a chieftaincy title in the kingdom of Heaven. Remember Matthew 23:12? “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Galatians 6:1? “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently.”
Don’t waste your time on jealousy, rather invest that time in making yourself much better than you are now! Don’t spend your hours judging other people. Remove the log in your own eye before trying to remove the speck in someone else’s eye. “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked two moons in his mocassins.”