“I’ve been bamboozled. He told me it has always been romantic on his part.” I was listening to my best friend joyfully ramble about the date she just went on with the man who was certain to be her husband one day. With every sentence, she was revealing these supernatural instances that undoubtedly confirmed that this was God ordained. Turns out, long before they ever met, at the exact same time, when my dark skinned, dad bod lovin’, full beard worshipin’ bestie was softening up to the idea of light skinned men with naked faces, her beau was declaring he was going to snatch him a dark skinned Jill Scott, a wildly different kind of woman than his normal attraction.
That was just one of the insanely romantic, unbelievably divine things that led to this moment. This moment where the girl whom I have loved with my whole heart, cried with, prayed with, struggled with and grown with, met someone. The moment where my very best friend in the entire world met a man who saw her value to her core. The moment I had prayed with her for and pleaded to God for on her behalf. Yet with every word she spoke, my heart was being torn in two. One half of it danced and leaped with joy, while the other half ached and with emptiness. What was this feeling? Why was this so hard to hear? That’s when I heard the voice in the back of my head, “You’re always the friend having to hear the stories. Dudes never see you. Nobody ever wants YOU. Will it evvvvvvvvver be your turn?” And it hit me. I was jealous.
A lump formed in my throat. Do I tell her? I can’t tell her. This is her moment, suck it up. But, I had to tell her. If I didn’t, she would know something was wrong. There is no way I can give her the happiness she deserves feeling this way. She’ll wonder why I am not more excited. I had no choice. I cannot let my insecurities ruin this for her, ruin our friendship. Honesty was the only way to go. When I found the right moment, I swallowed the lump and I say “I love you and I am so happy for you. But if I don’t sound that way, I need you to understand, it isn’t about you. I am just feeling a little jealous to be honest.”
A few weeks later, I was telling my mom what happened and she commended me on the humbleness it took to admit how I felt. It never occurred to me that telling my friend I was jealous required me to be humble. I just knew that I loved her and I didn’t want anything I was feeling to get in the way of our friendship. But I guess my mom was right. It wasn’t normal
I realized something. We RUN from jealousy. We don’t talk about it.
I don’t mean the water cooler gossip about those side-eyed glances from your snotty coworker either. “OOhhhhh girl you know she mad ‘cause you got the promotion and she been here 23 years.”
What I mean is we do not create a safe environment for people to admit that they are jealous. We ourselves cannot admit when the feeling we are faced with is jealousy. When we feel jealous, we excuse it, justify it or attach it to another emotion.
Proverbs 27: 4 Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?
But Kristen, what does that even mean? I am so glad you asked. What that verse is saying is that anger and fury are emotions that quickly overcome you. You can immediately recognize them. Jealousy, however ever, is slow. It creeps in and often goes unchecked, slowly seeping its way into our hearts until they are hardened. Unchecked, jealousy takes you to places that you never would have imagined yourself going to.
Why do we do that, you say? Insecurity.
Acknowledging jealousy means acknowledging the insecurities they are rooted in. That makes us feel weak. We instead justify away our jealousy instead of digging up its roots.
I watched a sermon recently (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLA0t4QQ670) that broke it down for us. Insecurity turns to jealousy, jealousy to envy, envy to murder. Don’t believe me? Look at my dudes, Cain and Able (Genesis 4). Cain was angry that God rejection his offering and accepted Able’s. In his anger, he murdered his brother. Though the Bible doesn’t go into much detail, God does ask Cain “Why are you angry? If you do what is right, won’t you be accepted?” I imagine Cain took the rejection of his offering personal, as if God was rejecting him. When in fact, God was simply telling him to do it a different way. He internalized his mistake, letting it become insecurity. He started to wonder why his brother was accepted and not him, which is jealousy. He began to wish it had been Him and not Able, which is envy. He wanted to eliminate the person who made him feel inferior, so he murdered him.
I know you’re thinking, “That ain’t me sis. Duh, I ain’t gonna murder anybody anyway.” But Let me give you some real life examples.
You got passed up for a promotion or didn’t get hired for a job.
- Internalized mistake, action etc.-getting rejected
- Insecurity- I am rejected and unwanted. I am not good enough. I’ll never get promoted. My hard work will always go unnoticed.
- Jealousy-She always gets chosen. What does she have that I don’t?
- Envy-That should be my job. I could do better. I am smarter than her. I work harder than her.
- Murder-She doesn’t even know what she is doing. She’s can’t even (insert weakness). She (insert whatever insult makes you feel better ab out yourself.)
The moral is, you might not attack and kill someone, but unchecked jealousy will ultimately lead you to assassinate their character. Murder.
I know most of the blogs I have written for a while were how-tos or some huge revelations God gave me about how to overcome or grow in an area. Well my dear friends, this is not that. My only hope was to be vulnerable in my own struggle with jealousy so you understand fully and clearly you are not alone. Or if it is not something you struggle with (in this season), to start creating an atmosphere where it is safe for us to talk about jealousy and the insecurities they grew from. Jealousy is normal human emotion. You can either be honest about it and heal or hide it and turn into a murder.
Back to my best friend. Soon after her relationship began, she started hearing CRAZY things from other people we loved. They were calling out places of insecurity in her relationship she had confided in us about. Because of my own feelings and my courage to be honest I was able to recognize what it was. They were insecure in their own relationships. To deflect, they attempted to poke holes in a relationship that appeared to be better than theirs. All in attempts to comfort their own wounded spirit. What would have happened if they just admitted that they were jealous? How could things be different for them if they just say “what you have looks great and I wish I had it too. It makes me feel like I am not good enough.” What would have happened if Cain just said to God, “I feel unwanted by your rejection of my sacrifice and it hurts. It feels like you want Able and not me and that makes me wish I had what he had.”
I know God would have told him, “my son, just because your sacrifice wasn’t accepted, doesn’t mean I don’t love and accept YOU. Your value is not tied to your sacrifice.” Maybe just maybe, he would have beat the curse of jealousy he let himself get trapped in.
1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
Ok, Love you bye!