|This picture is from a preteen reader's room.|
The Cure for Jealousy
Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but jealousy is even more dangerous. Proverbs 27:4
Sarah got tired of waiting for God to keep his promise to give her a baby and took matter into her own hands. She told Abraham to have a baby with her servant. She planned to raise that baby as her own—a custom women in those days followed when they couldn’t have a baby themselves. Yet when Hagar became pregnant and started flaunting it in front of her mistress, Sarah was angry. Then she blamed Abraham for the problem.
Jealousy brings out the worst in most people. When someone has talents, possessions or popularity that another person wants, it can become ugly. Imagine that a less popular girl shows up at school in a really cute outfit, and some popular girls make rude comments about how it looks. Why would they do this? Because they don't think the less popular girl deserves that outfit. They should be the ones with those clothes.
Or imagine that one group of girls have been the cheerleading squad for three years straight. Then a new girl tries out and bumps one of them from the squad. Uh-oh. She'd better look out. She now has the position another person wanted, and having what someone else wants can make that person jealous. The girl whose spot was taken will be tempted to watch for any little flaw in the new girl's performance. The friends might make the new cheerleader feel unwelcome.
There is no reasoning with jealousy. Whether you are jealous like Sarah, or the brunt of the jealousy like Hagar, life is difficult. The only cure for jealousy is to learn to be content with what you already have. Rather than playing the comparison game, be thankful for your own talents, abilities and possessions
Thinking it Through
Read Proverbs 27:4 above. Why do you think jealousy is so dangerous?
Is there something that one of your friends has or is able to do that you wish you could have or do? Have you ever been jealous of that friend? Be honest! Now think of something you have or are able to do and thank God for it. Every time you’re tempted to feel jealous of someone, stop and thank God for something he’s given you. Try to thank him for something different each time.
Do you have a problem with jealousy? Take the quiz below to find out.
1. You work hard for several weeks on an essay for a contest. You get third place. You:
a. Should have gotten first place. Your essay was better than the winning one.
b. Hope the winner doesn't enter next year so you have a better chance.
c. Are disappointed but plan to try again next year.
2. You've worked really hard on your balance beam routine but are still having problems. It seems so easy for the others girls. You:
a. Hope you do better than they do on the bars.
b. Work hard and ask the coach for tips.
c. Hope one of them falls off of the beam during the meet.
3. Your friend's dad is taking everyone to the amusement park and then out to eat for her birthday. You had cake and ice cream at home with your family for your birthday. You:
a. Hope your friend's birthday is a lot of fun. After all, you get to enjoy it too.
b. Wish your parent were as cool as her parents.
c. Think it's unfair that she gets everything she wants.
How did you do? The correct answers are:
1-c, 2-b, 3-aIt's okay to want to improve. The desire to improve motives you to work harder. It's when you wish for something bad to happen to someone else or get caught up in the "it's not fair" game that it becomes a problem. Try not to compare yourself to others. That's when jealousy gets a grip. Be happy for their successes, and don't let them make you feel less important. You are an individual with your own talents and successes. Using what you have and what you own for God and others is the real key to being happy.
In four weeks I will be giving away a copy of :
Each time you leave a comment on a post about Sarah, I will enter your name into the drawing. So you can have your name in the drawing multiple times. USA mailing addresses only.