Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Can you overcome Jealousy? Yes you Can

Can You overcome Jealousy ? Yes You Can Overcome through the Help of Holy Spirit
1Sa 18:6 And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick.
1Sa 18:7 And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.
1Sa 18:8 And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom?
1Sa 18:9 And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.
Jealousy is when we resent God’s goodness in other’s lives and ignore God’s goodness in our own lives. Being jealous means being envious of other people’s blessings. While we take for granted our own blessings. Sometimes we’re jealous of people’s possessions. "How come they got such nice presents for Christmas? While all I got was clothes?"

Or sometimes we’re jealous of people’s privileges - "How come they get to do that and I don’t get to do that? Why do they get that privilege?" Sometimes we’re jealous when people are successful - "Why did so and so get the promotion instead of me? I’ve been here longer! I wanted it more!"

Or we’re jealous of their popularity. They have all the popular friends and I don’t have that many friends.

Or we’re jealous of their appearance and the way they look. "Why don’t I have hair like her? How come I don’t have a body like that? How come I got stuck with THIS body? Why can’t I have a job like his? Why don’t we have their children? Why is our house decorated this way and her house is decorated that way? How come they get to go on those vacations and we don’t?" And on and on it goes.

We have far more jealousy in our lives than we realize. But before we talk about God’s remedy for jealousy, I want you to see the damaging effects of jealousy. I want you to see how jealousy contributed to the self-destruction of Israel’s first king.

We know from reading the Bible that Saul was a flawed king on borrowed time. In 1 Samuel 13, he got impatient when the priest didn’t show up right away. And he offered an unauthorized sacrifice to the Lord. And the prophet Samuel said in verse 14, "Your kingdom will not endure. Your days are numbered."

And then in 1 Samuel 15, the Lord wanted Saul to completely wipe out the Amalekites. Including the cattle and the sheep. But Saul only listened to the first part of the instructions. He wiped out the Amalekites. And in disobedience to the Lord, he kept the cattle and the sheep.

And the Lord said in 1 Samuel 15:11, "I am grieved that I have made Saul King over Israel. Because the man doesn’t listen! He has turned completely away from me!"
But by the grace of God, Saul would go on to be the king for another 25 years. And by the time we get to 1 Samuel 18, Saul has many reasons to be happy. A promising young shepherd boy named David has just killed Goliath. The Israelites have defeated the Philistines in a stunning victory. The king’s son and David have developed a wonderful friendship. And the nation was celebrating the goodness of God. Saul should have been able to enjoy the moment.

But watch what happens. Verse six: "When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King

But Saul doesn’t take it that way. He gets very offended. Very angry. He says "They have credited David with tens of thousands, but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?" And the Bible says in verse nine that ’from that time on, Saul kept a jealous eye on David.’
One of the worst things about jealousy is that you’re so obsessed with keeping your eye on other people that it keeps you from enjoying your own life.
There’s a lesson here. Many of us are wasting emotional energy. Being jealous of people for no reason. More often than not, our jealousy is not motivated by a genuine threat. But by a selfish desire to be number one. To be controlling. Tobe better than other people.

When you’re in the middle of a jealous fit, you need to stop and ask yourself two questions. Number one: Why am I doing this? Is this person really out to get me? Or am I stressing for no reason?"

02. You should ask yourself, "What am I accomplishing? How will being jealous make my life better? How will it make my wife love me more? How will it get me a better job? How will it get me the recognition and praise that I feel I deserve?" I think you’re going to find out that jealousy accomplishes nothing and makes things worse instead of better. Instead of throwing a jealous fit, you need to throw yourself on the grace of God. And ask him to help you to stop obsessing about other people. And to help you to be the best ’you’ that you can be.
The Bible is full of examples of the damaging effect of jealousy. You don’t make it out of the first book of the Bible without seeing the effects of jealousy. In Genesis 4, Cain is jealous of Abel and he kills his brother. The very first murder was caused by jealousy.

And if you look at the New Testament, you’ll see thatthe crucifixion of Christ was motivated by jealousy. Mark 15:10 tells us that "it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him.
So what we’re dealing with today is not some petty nuisance. It’s not some minor weakness in your life. The Bible says it will rot the bones! It’s from the pit of hell. The reason Satan got kicked out of heaven was pride and jealousy. He was jealous of God’s power and said, "I want to be God." So when I’m acting jealous, I’m acting like the devil! This is how serious this issue is. We need to cut jealousy out of our lives.

The question is, ’How do I do it? How do I remove jealousy out of my heart so I don’t have to deal with this issue? What is the remedy for jealousy?"

The first thing we should do is to admit that we struggle with this. James 3:14 says "But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth." That is far harder than we would like to pretend it is. We’d rather admit to many other things. We don’t find it very hard to admit to anger because it’s so obvious. We don’t find it hard to admit to fear. We don’t find it hard to admit to when we’ve made mistakes or if we’ve been lazy. But I’ve never met anybody who’s quick to admit jealousy. When I admit that I’m being jealous, it opens up and reveals the pettiness in my heart.

But if you want to get rid of the jealousy in your life, you have to come clean before God and before your family. Stop denying it. Stop excusing it. Stop justifying it. Stop minimizing it. This is not some little problem in your life. It’s a major problem. Get it off your chest.

- Remember that you are special in God’s eyes. A lot of times, when people express jealousy, they’re expressing insecurity. Every time I am jealous of somebody else I am revealing an insecure heart. I don’t accept myself. I don’t like myself. I think I need to be somebody else. At its base, every time you are jealous of somebody, you are saying to the whole world, "I’m insecure."

But God says, "You have no reason to be insecure. I made you. I love you. And you are special in my eyes." How do I know that? Because Psalm 139:13-14 says "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

- Remember that God is in control. Sometimes we get jealous because we can’t control what is going on around us. But remember this: God alone is in control. Not you, not them, not anybody else. He calls the shots. Matthew 10:29 says "Not one sparrow will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father."

- Put your trust in the Lord. Jealousy at its root is a lack of trust in God. It is doubting God. When you’re jealous, you’re saying, "God, You didn’t do for me what You did for that person. You must not love me. You must love them more than You love me." Whenever we are being jealous, we’re doubting God’s love. We’re questioning His authority and His right to do whatever He wants to do in our lives. That’s why this is a serious sin. Psalm 62:8 says "Trust in Him at all times, O people." That means trust Him no matter what.

- Be grateful for who you are and what you haveEnjoy the blessings that God has already put in your life. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 "Give thanks in all circumstances." Gratitude is a great anti-virus. The more grateful I am, the less prone to jealousy I will be. If I can raise my gratitude, my jealousy is going to decrease.

- Get your eyes off of what everybody else is doing and refocus on what God wants to do in your life. We talk about this a lot. God has a unique plan for your life and nobody else can fulfill it. When I focus on God’s plan for me, competition becomes irrelevant. When I am so focused on just doing and being what God made me to be, it really doesn’t matter what other people are doing.

Most of all, those of you who are struggling with jealousy need to turn to the Lord today. Some of you need to do it for the first time in your lives. You need to trust Christ as your Savior and Lord. And some of you need to rededicate your lives to Christ. You cannot kill the jealousy bug without Christ. It’s impossible. You have to lay it all at His feet