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Josh Gates' Expedition Truth would have no need to run an episode on one monster that is purported to exist. There is ample evidence to prove its existence. This well-known beast's green eyes reflect a contagious light that afflicts its unsuspecting victims with pain, unhappiness, and even fear. Known throughout the world as the Green-Eyed Jealousy Monster, this lurking friend of the devil makes its way into every culture of every nation. Few are completely immune to it, but there are many who have learned to protect themselves against its influence.
As followers of Christ, we are called to arm ourselves against it. The poison that it leaks into our souls can easily spread with a life expectancy of a one hundred-plus years if not stopped.
So...how can we protect ourselves from this monster? For some it is not easy. There are so many different reasons why jealousy appears in our lives, and some personalities and temperaments have a harder time fighting it than others.
There are some tips, however, to help us protect ourselves. Here are some things we can do to give us the upper hand on the effect that those green eyes have upon our souls.
1. Recognize and validate that our feelings are real.
Just the very act of acknowledging our jealousy can take away some of its power.
2. Assess the root causes.
Be sure to include your upbringing and any influences in your life that may be contributing to your feelings. (i.e.: Are there feelings of self-worth that were affected in the past? Are my present feelings of jealousy stemming from a lack of self worth now?)
3. Approach God for help.
Jealousy has the power to consume us, and in some cases it can become almost impossible to overcome. But, the Green-Eyed Monster is powerless against God. True to form in the battle between good and evil, the Holy Spirit can sometimes be the only difference between a win and a loss. We need Him to fight it with us, and perhaps even for us. Don't try it alone!!
4. Learn from it.
Am I jealous of someone because someone is doing something that I really want to do? If so, could I try to make arrangements to do this myself? (Like signing up for piano lessons or the gym.) If I am unable to fulfill this specific desire right now (or ever), then I need to approach God for help to accept it. As we know, some of our desires don't always line up with God's timing or even with God's plan for us. When this happens, we can find much solace in realigning our life focus with His, remembering that His plan is bigger and better than ours could ever be in the grand plan of eternity.
5. Pick out some positives regarding the situation.
Even if you aren't the glass-half-full type, attempt to name at least one good thing that can be found, whether it be the ability to spend more time on another relationship (i.e.: spending more time with an aging parent or ill child when you feel pulled in other directions) or even acknowledging that an act of offering up the painful feelings of jealousy can help another's soul.
When the Jealousy Monster strikes, take a breath and count 5 things that you are grateful for in your life at that moment. Unrelated or not, this brings us back in touch with humility, reminding us that God is in charge. And, since the Bible says, "In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18, I would even go so far as to challenge you to thank God for your moment of attack. I can guarantee you that the Devil will NOT be happy, turning more control back over to you!
7. Count again.
Count at least three things that you like about yourself. If you struggle in this area, picture things that someone you love might say about you. So often jealousy strikes at a time when we are vulnerable to feeling a lack of self-worth in some area. Although you may be tempted to pass this tip up, think again. It can have measurable effects on our abilities to control jealousy.
The Green-Eyed Jealousy Monster is very real. While some perpetrators prey only on the most vulnerable among us, this monster can find weakness in even the strongest of individuals. One of the reasons it has such power is due to the fact that our souls long for fairness. However, if we find ourselves holding out for perfect fairness, we will find ourselves sorely disappointed in this lifetime.
Just ask Jesus. No one could better understand the concept of the unfairness of life more than He. However, He also understands well the fulfillment of fairness that is waiting for us when we come home to Him. We would do well to remember this ourselves!
I truly hope that some of these tips can aid and support you when jealousy strikes. God loves us with all of His heart and He longs to help us become the people we were meant to be.
Let's remember that we are never alone on this trip back to Him!!
Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/cat-eye-grass-view-lauer-position-1367000/
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