Our struggle with jealousy has a way of traveling with us from childhood, to our teenage years and on into adulthood. As much as we want to think we left it behind along with our acne and awkward hair, it might not have phased out the way we think.
Even as adults, we struggle with jealousy. It just takes on new “adult-like” forms. We become better at hiding and masking it.
Jealousy has a way of flying under the radar in our hearts. And obviously we don’t want to be people consumed by jealousy. Even worse we don’t want to unknowingly be consumed by it. So it’s important for us to notice the signs of jealousy in order for us to more fully surrender our hearts to Jesus.
Here are four signs that you’re more of a jealous person that you realize.
1. You find them annoying for no reason.
There are some people that you might find annoying who–if you really think about it–you don’t actually have a good reason for being annoyed with.
One of the easiest ways to mask our jealousy is by labeling it as simply being annoyed. We can act annoyed with someone, because they talk about the success of their job, their family, or even just their life in general. And nobody likes someone who gloats.
But sometimes the reason it bothers us so much is because we want those things. We want what they have. So we find a reason to be annoyed with them, even if that reason is as silly as the fact that they are annoyingly happy all the time.
And it doesn’t even have to be a material thing. It’s just hard for us to see others enjoying the blessings and successes we long for. We’re jealous. But instead of calling it what it is, we would rather put the issue on someone else.
Too often, we would rather put the blame on the other person and label them as annoying than deal with the jealousy problem in our own hearts.
2. You can’t be happy when something good happens to them.
When something good happens to someone you know and you can’t find it in yourself to be happy for them, you’re probably struggling with jealousy.
One of the verses that has really impacted me lately is Romans 12:15: “Rejoice with those who rejoice.”
Why is this so hard for us? Why can’t we be happy for other people? Why can’t we celebrate with them when they get a new house, a better paying job, or their kid gets into an ivy league school?
The bible calls us to rejoice with others when good things happen to them. And yet it seems to be so incredibly difficult for us to do with certain people. Usually with people who have the very good things happen to them that we wished would happen to us.
Is there someone in your life who recently shared good news with you and you had to pretend to be happy? If so, is it possible that the struggle lying behind your reaction is jealousy?
It’s good to be honest with ourselves and not pretend that we don’t struggle with jealousy.
3. You’re mad when something good happens to them.
Not only are we not rejoicing with those who rejoice, but we might actually be mourning their celebration.
The rest of Romans 12:15 says, “Mourn with those who mourn.”
Instead we are often doing the opposite, we are mourning with those who rejoice. Even worse, sometimes we might go as far as secretly celebrating when they mourn.
We get mad when someone shares good news with us. We think that it’s not fair or that they don’t deserve it. We might not say it to their face but we might share our dissatisfaction with our spouse when we get home. Or, if we have good sense, we just think it in our minds. But we think it really hard.
To look at something good in someone else’s life and to respond to it with anger or frustration is a very strong sign that you struggle with jealousy.
4. You’re constantly comparing yourself with others.
Comparison is such a hard thing and it goes hand in hand with jealousy. These two attributes are often found together and they make one another stronger. The more you compare, the more jealous you become. And the more jealous you become, the more you compare.
When you compare yourself to someone else, it probably means that you’re constantly in a negative mindset. In your head, there’s always a winner and a loser. There’s never enough goodness to go around.
You see the good things in someone’s life and wish it were you instead of them. The fire of jealousy is fueled by comparison.
A spirit of jealousy is never anything someone would brag about. But it’s something many of us struggle with unknowingly. It’s important to be honest with ourselves and admit if we struggle with jealousy in certain areas.
The only cure for jealousy is Jesus. Everything else will just keep you wanting.