Jun 4, 2013
This is embarrassing. But I am committed to sharing whatever I can about my fight of faith — in hopes that it will help others. So here goes. Gulp.
Sunday morning I needed to do a quick Google search. And somehow my search brought up a church and the fact that someone gave it an Excellent rating.
And to my shame, I was flooded with jealousy. MY church is excellent! I want this person to rate MY church as excellent!
It was shocking. One moment I was peaceful and prayerful. The next I’m feeling such jealousy that I’m breaking out into a cold sweat.
What To Do?
Your struggle may not be with jealousy. Maybe yours is with fear or lust or greed or despair.
But Sunday morning my struggle was with jealousy. So what could I do?
In the past I might have —
- Tried real hard not to feel jealous.
- Gone on with my day and tried to ignore it.
- Condemned myself for being such a poor excuse of a Christian.
- Enjoyed the jealousy, maybe with a side dish of self-pity.
But none of these removes jealousy. So when your heart is filled with jealousy, what can you do?
The Root Cause
Why was I jealous? It was because at that moment I believed that to be fully satisfied I needed this person to rate MY church as excellent.
In other words, I was not trusting Jesus Christ as my all-satisfying Treasure. Instead, I had faith that someone’s excellent rating would be my all-satisfying Treasure.
Which shows that the root cause of my jealousy was unbelief. There was a problem with my faith. So what could I do?
Help My Unbelief
I turned to Jesus Christ just as I was, with my heart full of jealousy. I confessed my jealousy, and the root cause of unbelief.
I was assured that I was completely forgiven through Christ’s death, and that God loved me, and was running to help me.
Then I prayed Mark 9:24 — I believe; help my unbelief.
I admitted that I was not able to change my heart on my own, and that I desperately needed God’s help. I asked Him to increase the work of the Spirit in me. I asked Him to strengthen my faith and free me from unbelief.
What Strengthens Faith?
So I had prayed and asked God to strengthen my faith. But as crucial as prayer is, it’s not enough.
God says that our faith will be strengthened when we hear the Word of Christ (Rom 10:17).
So I started with Psalm 73:25-26 —
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
There it is — God is my portion forever. That means only God can satisfy me fully. And only God can satisfy me forever.
But my jealousy showed I didn’t believe that. So I asked God to help me believe it.
I thought about how the psalmist was so satisfied in God that he desired nothing on earth.
And I thought about how the pleasure I would feel over an excellent rating is nothing when compared to the pleasure of beholding God.
And as I prayed over those verses, I felt my unbelief start to crumble, and my faith in Christ start to grow.
Then I thought about Jeremiah 2:12-13 —
Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the LORD, for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.
This is where the heavy lifting happened.
I thought about how I’m thirsty. And how this person’s excellent rating of my church was a broken cistern I had made that can hold no water. I’m thirsty. But it’s bone-dry.
Then I thought about how Jesus Christ is the fountain of living water. I thought about how He “loved me, and gave Himself up for me” (Gal 2:20); how He is the “radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His character” (Heb 1:4); how He is the infinitely greatest reality in the universe (Col 1:15-18).
That’s when the Holy Spirit demolished my unbelief — and poured fresh faith into my heart. I saw and felt that this person’s excellent rating of my church is a broken cistern without water. I saw and felt that Jesus Christ is a fountain of living water — and is the only fountain of living water.
And then I noticed: my heart was changed. My jealousy was gone.
I loved Jesus Christ. I wanted Him — forever. I honestly didn’t care about that person’s excellent rating, because I had Jesus Christ.
I was free.
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And here are some related posts you might find helpful –
- The Bible And Jealousy: How To Fight The Fight Of Faith
- How To Be Content
- How To Fight The Fight Of Faith
- How Jesus Frees Us From Fear (4-min video)
(Picture is from Microsoft Publisher Clipart.)