We have been taught to make anger a fuel and not let it break us. We have been taught that sadness usually leads to a brighter future; but no one talks about jealousy. It is the dreaded word. Honest criticisms have been shrugged off as the rantings of jealous people. Jealousy in itself has been the reason for a lot of wrongdoings and everyone denies feeling it. However, it is an emotion just like anger, sadness, joy and pain. How we react to it, and what we do with it that matters.
I have detailed positive sides of jealousy.
Jealousy opens our eyes to desires we might not know we had
Now I’m not talking about your friend getting married or buying a car, but if you are one to reflect periodically, you might notice the things you have felt a teeny pang of jealousy about e.g, your friend’s likability, a random stranger’s career speed. These could open your eyes to desires and lead you to take steps to achieve them.
Jealousy forces us to confront our character
At the root of jealousy lies subconscious issues like insecurity, regret at missed opportunities, anger with ourselves for seeming under achievement. If we acknowledge how we feel and are honest with ourselves, jealousy could serve as fuel to make us solve deep seated character flaws.
Jealousy could open us up to mentorship
An experienced and concerned older person could notice our emotions and mentor us in ways that will change us. I remember feeling a bit jealous of my elder brother at a point when I felt my life was stagnant. My father noticed this and gave me a piece of advice I’d never forget. He said, ‘Peculiar, you might feel some people are undeserving of the blessings they receive, but there is something called the sovereignty of God and he is always just in his judgement. If you do your best and give out good, good will come to you.’
That advice not only enabled me overcome my feelings of jealousy but prepared me for his death 2 years later. People said I was strong and handled his death well, but I honoured the sovereignty of God and trusted his will – even though it didn’t make sense then.
If we look closely at the story of Cain and Abel, we will notice that he went through these phases;
- He noticed he would have loved his offering accepted by God; ‘And Cain was very wroth and his countenance fell’
- He was confronted with a character flaw.
- He was opened to mentorship; ‘And the lord said to Cain, if thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.’God specifically advice him and told him sin lay at his door.
In all, how we deal with jealousy like every other emotion is important. Remember, the Bible reports that God didn’t punish Cain until he killed his brother. We can choose to make jealousy make us more beautiful,l or turn us to monsters. Remember,’You may not be able to stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can stop it from perching’.
The 3rd of September is the anniversary of my father’s death. In fact, September is a bitter sweet month, my birthday month and the month I lost ‘my 1st love’ as I called my father. I’m honoured to have been his daughter because he was perfect.
Photo Credit: Elena Elisseeva | Dreamstime.com