Living By Faith Blog

Icon

Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

Another Battle With Jealousy

Work at computer from Microsoft Publisher ClipartSunday Morning Jealousy

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.

Broken Cisterns

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).

Freedom

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.

Comments?  Thoughts?

I’d love to hear them.  Leave a reply below — thanks.

If you know someone this would help, email it to them using the “share” button below.  Or use the other buttons to share it on your favorite social media.

If you would like to interact with others who are seeking to live by faith in Christ, visit our Forums page.

If you would like to receive a Saturday email summarizing the week’s posts — subscribe here.  (I will only use your email address for Living By Faith Blog communications, and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.)

And here are some related posts you might find helpful –

 

(Picture is from Microsoft Publisher Clipart.)

Category: Jealousy and Envy

Tagged:

16 Responses

  1. jon says:

    thanks Steve. I was reflecting on your sermon on Isaiah 38 &39 and how easily we can go from trusting Christ to sin/pride. God goes so far out of His way to point out to us this foolish response to circumstances that is waiting beneath the surface to “get us”. His word is the only thing that can protect us (the computer anti-virus}
    thank you again for bringing this important truth to light for us.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      You are so welcome, Jon. And you are right — Isa 38 and 39 is a powerful example of how quickly sin can rise up and overpower us. And you are right that the only protection is God’s Word. Thanks once again for your wise words and for your encouragement.

  2. Anne says:

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for this revealing your heart on this and how Jesus is our portion forever. How often I let comparison steal my joy. Praying for you today,

    Anne

  3. Andrea Ito says:

    Thanks for this, Steve. I have also been dealing with jealousy, over a young person we had poured into in our church, leaving us to go to a bigger, more “successful” church in our community. But as I was counseling my son and his new wife to not be jealous of each other, and that what blesses one of them will certainly bless the other, I realized the same applies to churches. If another church in my community is blessed by this young person, then the Kingdom of God is blessed, and we are blessed! (We are still allowed to miss her, though!)

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Wise words, Andrea. I find it so freeing to know that God gives and takes church members in such a way that His glory will be most greatly displayed, which means my joy will be most greatly increased. If this isn’t freeing, then I find that I need to fight to see once again that the all-glorious Jesus Christ is my all-satisfying Treasure.

      You and Kaz are in our hearts and prayers. Much love, Steve and Jan

  4. Kelly says:

    Thank you! As I have battled with jealous, I would confess it and then try to run from it. Of course this never works. Now through you, God has answered my prayer so I fully understand what jealousy is and can deal with it through confession, prayer, scripture reading.

  5. Katia says:

    Just want to thank you for this. 🙂

  6. del says:

    Thanks for this step by step. I know my jealousy is none like any that has been talked of here, but I do question if there are any different kinds of jealousys? My husband has left me for another women and I find myself being jealous of her alot. Although it does not lead down a path of good thoughts, it steals my joy and peace that I do find some days. I think I can follow the steps you took and come up with the ens reault you do. thanks

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Hi Del,

      I praise God for the grace He is giving you to seek Him during such a heart-breaking trial. And you are right — your jealousy about your husband is a bit more complicated. I am so sorry for what you are going through. What your husband has done is completely wrong and a grievous sin against you and against God.

      So in this case there is an appropriate jealousy for you to have. It’s not thinking that you need your husband in order to be fully satisfied. That’s not true. You don’t. All you need is Jesus Christ.

      But there is an appropriate jealousy. This would mean you know and feel that what he is doing is wrong, that he’s broken the covenant he made with you and God, and that you long that this injustice be dealt with either by him returning to you and Christ, or by his sin being punished in him forever, or by Jesus on the Cross. It’s also knowing and feeling that what this other woman is doing is wrong, and should be punished either in her forever, or by Christ on the Cross.

      So I would fight to see and feel that all you need is Jesus Christ, and that He has purposefully allowed this tragedy to occur to bring you even more joy in Him. Keep praying for your marriage, but don’t put your hope there.

      I hope this helps some. And I’m going to pray for you right now.

      In Christ,

      Steve Fuller

  7. Kathy Hendrie says:

    thanks Steve for being so open about jealousy it has helped me so much. I have written down the verses and intend to read and re-read and put to memory so I will be free from jealousy.

  8. jol says:

    Very thankful to God for ur article. Recently i discovered that im a very jealous person.My boyfriend and I have been together for some time now and whenever he clicks on the ”like” button when he’s looking at a girl’s pic on facebook or he is following some female blogger, I feel a strong surge of jealousy overwhelming me.
    My mind is clouded with thoughts like : he thinks that girl is pretty, interesting..
    And then I start feeling insecure about myself, thinking I’m not pretty enough, I’m a boring person and that’s why at first he didn’t want to go out with me. He made me wait a whole year for him..

  9. Tani says:

    I need prayer for Christ to help me in this journey of Unbelief i need to know where to begin amen

Leave a Reply

Join 2,375 people who receive each week’s posts by email

More Help for Your Faith

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

Feedback

"I just found your blog recently, and I've NEVER found such clarity, understanding and comfort before." (Sarah)

"AWESOME. Going to mangle this sin tonight with the Promises of God." (Alec)

"If I could subscribe to only one blog, yours would be it." (Lyn)

"I think you are really on to something with this blog. I don’t know of anything else like it." (Doug)

"Excellent comment. Really well put and wisdom that is strangely lacking in much evangelical thinking." (John)

"Thank you -- I needed to hear this. So clear and concise yet captivating." (Stacey)

"Such a helpful post. I’ve bookmarked it and reread it two or three mornings just this week." (Doug)