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Jealousy

Scripture

1 Corinthians 3:3

For you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?

Prayer

Adult:

Dear God,

Not sure why innately we judge ourselves against others. It is a sin, but it comes so naturally. It kills our hearts and our souls. Please God give us the armor to not judge, but see our own strengths and our own beauty. You made us unique and special in our own way. Allow us to appreciate our unique selves. Allow us to appreciate what we have and not wish for what we don’t. Don’t allow us to have hateful hearts for others or for ourselves. Please let us know jealousy is not worth the time or the energy. When it comes to jealousy, no one wins in the end.

Child:

Dear God,

I want to be like her or like him. Sometimes I don’t like myself very much. God, please remind me I am perfect the way I am and don’t need to compare myself. I love you!

Activities:

One of my dad’s quotes to me has become handy in my life; which is “there will always be people more attractive, smarter, and richer than you, so, if you spend your whole life worried about these things you will waste your life away.” Although, the quote is handy, I’d lie if I said the green monster of jealousy has never attacked my life. When my marriage has gone through rough patches, jealousy has always peeked its evil head. Although it is a sin, you want to be the most desirable person to your spouse and you realize time, life’s duties, being parents, etc. may have changed the fire. You get jealous of anyone who catches their eye. Jealousy is rampant at work when others get promoted or you think they have your dream job. Lastly, where there is money there is jealousy. You watch shows where people are buying mansions by the water and you wonder…why can’t this be me? I’ve been there and hate to admit I’ve had jealousy around all of these areas. When I feel it spreading through my body like the flu is when I have to give it all over to God. Otherwise the sickness will never go away. If jealousy is something you are struggling with, below are activities for this week:

Adult

  1. Write down on a piece of paper what you are gaining or losing due to jealousy and then read the list out loud to yourself
  2. Think about if you had what you were jealous about would you be happy or would you still want more?
  3. What is at the core of your jealousy? What is it you really desire? Can you create a goal in your life not to be jealous but to work on whatever is at the core of your jealousy….a way to make more money, workout, etc.
  4. Instead of showing negative responses to your jealousy, think of positive, healthy ways to handle your jealousy. Take care of yourself such as going out with friends, reading a good book, reflecting on your own strengths, etc.
  5. Make a comic strip or a cartoon about your jealousy and make fun of it or over-dramatize it.
  6. Read Genesis Chapter 4 verses 1 through 16 and then reflect on it for your own life
  7. Watch a movie such as O, English Patient, 27 Dresses, My Super Exgirlfriend, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, etc. that has examples of jealousy. What did the movie show and teach you?
  8. Think of what you can concentrate on except jealousy (concentrate on work, school, other priorities, etc.)
  9. Create a grateful journal. Sometimes concentrating on what you are grateful for instead of what makes you jealous is helpful for curing one’s jealousy.

Child

  1. Distract your child from what they are jealous about and highlight where they are unique
  2. Practice positive thinking with them – how they can turn around negative talk in their head.
  3. Talk through the consequences of jealousy
  4. Let them talk and be honest about their jealousy. Don’t ignore it. Don’t talk over them.
  5. Read a book such as McDuff and the Baby, the Berenstain Bears and the Green Eyed Monster, Jealousy is Not for Me, Alexander and the Wind Up Mouse… for small children. For older children, there are books such as Jealousy (Cantorwood Crest), This Side of Jealousy (an Innocents Novel), Deep Green (Color Me Jealous). Then discuss the jealousy in the books and how it relates to your child.
  6. Role play with your child and over exaggerate the jealousy
  7. Talk through real stories of getting what you want and still not finding happiness. Perhaps, find articles on celebrities who have struggled showing fame, beauty, and money doesn’t necessarily make you happy
  8. Use quotes such as the quote from my Dad and talk through it –“ there will always be people more attractive, smarter, and richer than you, so, if you spend your whole life worried about these things you will waste your life away” – what does this quote mean to your child and their sense of jealousy?