My heart aches as I look at the eyes of one of my best friends. ‘Is she serious?’ I think. ‘Is this really happening to me?’
For a second I convince myself that this is not real. This is just a joke.
This will all turn out the way I thought it would.
Waking up the next morning, after a night of restless sleep, I had to conclude that this was not the case.
To make a long story short: my best friend started dating a guy with whom I was really close friends. When she told me she was dating him, I was hurt and really jealous.
I couldn’t believe that she was getting the opportunity to date him.
This was something that I so wished was happening to me in my own life. Not only was I jealous of my best friend, but, I was also jealous of him. He now got to share a level of best friendness that I used to have with her.
In this very complicated situation, God spoke to my heart very clearly.
He spoke as He had never done before and in all the areas in which this situation was affecting my life. One of those areas was my already existing problem with jealousy. The very first thing He pressed upon my heart was Romans 12:15, which says: ‘Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.’
I was just preparing a study about this verse, so it really struck me that God used it like that in my life. However, I found it really hard to do what this verse said. I prayed for it. I really wanted to be happy about her dating experience.
I just felt so hurt every time I thought about it.
I believe the heart of jealousy is an unfulfilled desire. When you find yourself being jealous, I think it is good to ask yourself the question: Which desire lies underneath this feeling? In my case, it was my desire to hold onto my friendships and my desire to be in a relationship.
It was my desire for the end of my season of singleness.
Though this helped me in understanding my feelings, it didn’t help to cure them. I really badly wanted to feel happy for her, but I just couldn’t manage.
You can’t always change the way you feel, but you can change the way you act upon it. So, one day, I walked up to her and said: ‘I’m very sorry about my behavior. I really want to feel happy for you, and sometimes I do, but in general, I find this really hard. Could you please pray with me?’
And as we sat there she prayed for my singleness, my future husband, our friendship and wisdom in this situation. And somewhere in her prayer, God reminded me of this: Share in My joy. I think this is such a great answer in our struggle with jealousy!
Share in the joy of God. Look with His eyes at the situation and not with your own.
When I did that, I saw two amazing people who wanted to follow Christ and who can learn a lot from each other in a dating period. I saw God’s excitement over this relationship. And at the same time, I saw His excitement over my singleness. I rested in the fact that God’s going to do amazing things in my life.
I can turn to Him with my disappointment, but I have to remember what a great God He is.
For weeks I had been struggling with the verse in Romans 12 because I was trying to overcome my jealousy and implement this verse based on my own power.
I turned my eyes upon Jesus but forgot to ask Him for His strength. When I did do that, I felt so free! I can rejoice over her life now, but at the same time, I’m still able to weep about my own loss.
I only can do that with God’s grace working within me.
In which situations do you find yourself jealous?
What is the joy of God in those situations?
GUEST BLOGGER: Hilde Pater