I’ve discovered the cure for jealousy. Not that I should take credit for it, because it’s been around a long time. But I discovered it, and it’s made a world of difference in my life. The catch is, it’s only applicable to those who hold the Bible as authoritative; i.e. hold it to be God’s Word.
So what is it?
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” – Romans 12:15.
It’s just that simple.
I don’t know how many times I’ve read that verse over the years, but the application finally occurred to me as I was talking with a friend some time ago. She had recently returned from Maui, and I was congratulating her on getting the chance to go (sincerely, although secretly harboring a tiny bit of jealously at her good fortune). She thanked me and said that many had expressed jealousy and even bitterness at her wonderful opportunity.
Without thinking, I quoted that verse as a reaction. “Well, rejoice with those who rejoice.” As I said it, the simple nature of the command hit home and its natural application in the heart of a Christ-follower made more sense than ever before.
Prior to that realization, I had often allowed myself to be jealous of what others had or got to do. Even though it’s one of the ten commandments to “not covet your neighbor’s house or … anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20:17), I frequently disregarded that.
In that moment, it became crystal clear to me that we are all blessed individually by our generous and gracious heavenly Father, and all our blessings are unique to each one of us. Therefore, I should focus on my own blessings (which are too many to be counted), rather than worry about how God chooses to bless my neighbor. I am simply to rejoice with other Christians when they rejoice, and weep with them when they weep (the latter a topic for another post).
Having that mentality is so freeing. Being able to be truly happy for others when life is going well for them is a blessing in and of itself. I am thankful that God taught me this lesson.