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Eliminating Jealousy And Envy
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Jealousy and envy are two very strong forces to be reckoned with as they lead to destruction. They are elements that have ruined many lives, and caused the death of millions. Envy and jealousy have been the reason that relationships have ended, or at the very least, are strained. They are weapons used by the enemy in his attempt to divide and destroy the Church. As much as we may want to blame him for everything, we must realize that jealousy and envy already exists in carnal man; therefore, he is able to use people as his weapons by virtue of what is in them. When these carnal qualities are allowed to operate in believers, it hurts the Father because they cause His children to hurt one another. This in turn strains our relationship with Him. This is something for each of us to consider: We may be brothers and sisters in the Lord, but we are Godís children first. That means we should be treating one another as the Father would treat us.
Jealousy does have a positive and negative side, but at this juncture we are dealing with the negative. Jealousy desires to have the same thing or same sort of thing; whereas, envy desires to deprive another of what he has. Both are based upon a destructive lust to have, as pointed out in James 4:1-5:
From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy (KJV)?
So how does one eliminate jealousy and envy? One step is to submit to the Holy Spirit (see Galatians 5:16). In so doing, one will not fulfill the lust of the flesh, and one will walk in love which is devoid of envy and jealousy (see 1Corinthians 13:4). In the power of the Spirit we are able to repent, which means to change the way we think, which in turn changes our behavior. In order to eliminate these evil twins, the way we view our relationship with the Father needs to change first. Once that is squared away, we are able to view our relationship with others properly as well.
Here are some important keys to making these changes: one is to realize that each of us is designed to have a unique relationship with the Father, which is why each of us is designed differently. This is how He loves each of us equally, yet each of us is His favorite. Each individual has different gifts and callings, which means that there are things that we are ourselves are made to do, and no one else. That means your ministry is meant for you alone, and no one else is called to do it (and everyone does have a ministry). It is something that you and the Father do together. Each of us are made to praise God, and worship Him in Spirit and in truth; yet, each individual expresses praise and worship uniquely. Our voices differ one from the other, yet we can offer up one voice. Therefore, we should celebrate our differences because they bless the Father in many different ways.
There are no design flaws! Sin entered the world and flawed the design, but the precious Blood of Jesus Christ eradicated sin for those who receive. When we begin to compare ourselves to others, we can fall into the trap of jealousy and envy. We can desire what they have or what they do, discounting what we have been given. If we hold another in a distorted place of honor, we can look at ourselves as flawed. The Body of Christ is One Body, with many different parts. No individual is the whole, but each one together makes up the whole, which means each one of us is special in the eyes of the Father. It is time that we look at as ourselves as special because He made us so. This is humility in action; to say otherwise is a form of pride. In our relationship with the Lord, we can truly celebrate others for who they are, and genuinely be happy for them when they are blessed.
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