ESV - 9 The devising of folly is sin, and the scoffer is an abomination to mankind.
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This is a difficult question. The causes of our envy or jealousy can be complex and deeply rooted in our being. I would suggest practicing forgiveness. As followers of Jesus, we should all adopt a "forgiving lifestyle," considering how many ways he tells us that we must forgive one another. Forgiveness is difficult, though. Forgiveness is about releasing. Whether it is about releasing an upset due to someone else's actions - which is how most of us view forgiveness - or it is about releasing a comparison, which is the issue of envy or jealousy. When we compare ourselves with others, it is very easy to allow that envy/jealousy to take hold - become rooted - in our lives. We must release it to God. Releasing envy or jealousy toward someone else is undoubtedly different than our conception of forgiveness as being needed when someone upsets us. But the reality is, envy or jealousy is merely another form of "upset." The Greek word for forgiveness used in the New Testament literally means - "to send away." That is what we are doing when we forgive. We are sending away an upset that we are holding on to. When we learn to "forgive" - or "send away" ANY upset - we can truly become free. There are some basic steps to forgiveness that are quite helpful if you follow them: 1. Make a choice to forgive. Choice is very powerful. Say it out loud. Tell God you choose to forgive. Scream it in the car with the radio blasting - any way you want to it is always helpful to declare that you "choose to forgive." 2. Start by forgiving yourself: "I choose to forgive myself for not being the person that I need to be for me when it comes to having the feelings of envy or jealousy." 3. Next, choose to forgive the other person: "I choose to forgive the other person for not being the type of person I need them to be for me, which is someone to doesn't cause me to feel envy or jealousy." 4. Release the responsibility for any injustices to God - "God, I choose to release to you the responsibility for justice. You hold them accountable for anything they have or haven't done to cause this situation. If there is an injustice, God - I release the responsibility to you to hold them accountable." Regarding justice. God is a just God and holds ALL accountable for their actions (Ecclesiastes 12:14). We can't see what God can see. There may or may not be an injustice that is causing your upset. Sometimes there is. Sometimes there isn't. Have faith that God knows if there has been an injustice and that he will hold ALL accountable. Take up the "Forgiveness Challange" - go through this process every day for the next week. Write down how upset you feel. See if you can feel yourself releasing. It takes time. Be gentle with yourself. Practice forgiveness. Make a choice to "send away" - release - any upsets. Forgiveness is the process of releasing so that we can live free in the world today despite our circumstances.
Jealousy and Envy are human emotions given to human beings when God created us. All human emotions are good, because everything God created is good. But like all things, our emotions can become corrupted because of our sinful human nature and evil spiritual forces. God is a jealous God. He created every human being to have an intimate personal relationship with us, like a husband and wife. When we worship other gods (chase after the things of this world) God's jealousy causes Him to get angry with our unfaithfulness. Exodus 34:14 "Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God." Jealousy is a good thing in our marriages. When someone tries to hit on our spouse, we become jealous and even angry in order to protect our marriage relationship. Envy too, can be a good emotion. We envy our co-worker's creative abilities, so we resolve to work at developing our own. We envy our friends ability to parent their children, so we are inspired to take some parenting classes to improve our abilities. These emotions will have a negative impact on our lives because of 2 driving forces: 1) the sinful desires of our flesh, 2) the evil and wicked culture of our world. Our culture teaches us to derive our value from the material possessions in our lives. So we assess our own self worth by comparing ourselves to others we have a relationship with. We feel better about ourselves when we conclude we have more or better stuff. But the stuff loses its "feel good" value in our lives very quickly. The predominant marketing message of our culture is that we are unhappy because we don't have the right stuff. We need newer, bigger, better, different, unique things to be happy. But its a lie from the pit of hell. To overcome the negative impact of these emotions we need to turn to the bible and discover what God says about us (renew our minds). God created each one of us, so He knows better than anyone else (including the culture of our world) what will make us happy, what will give us an abundantly fulfilling and deeply satisfying life. Here is what God says about our "worth" to him. 1. God's Love God loves every human being equally. God loves us passionately, wholeheartedly and continuously and it has nothing to do with our performance. God is jealous to have an intimate personal relationship of love with each of us, and he is deeply hurt when we are unfaithful to him. 2. God's sacrifice God held nothing back to restore this loving relationship with us. He sent his only begotten Son on a rescue mission, to sacrifice his life to set us free from the power of sin, death and all evil forces. 3. God's New Life When we come to faith in Jesus, the old person we used to be is put to death on the cross with Jesus. Those feelings of Jealousy and Envy lose their power to control our lives. God makes us into a new creation and gives us a brand new life to live when we are born again. The Holy Spirit comes to live in us, restoring the gift of eternal life as our human spirits come alive. The Holy Spirit has the wisdom and power to enable us to live a God pleasing life. We are able to use all our human emotions for good and godly purposes. 4. God's Plan and Purpose God uses this new creation in us to build his kingdom on the earth. To advance justice, righteousness, love and faithfulness into every facet of human society. Each of us has a vital part to play in transforming our world because we are all part of the body of Christ. God is moulding and shaping our character into the image of his Son, Jesus Christ, so people will see Jesus when they look at us. God has given us everything we need through the abundant riches of his grace for us to experience an abundantly fulfilling and deeply satisfying life. 5. God's Future Plan Jesus has prepared a mansion for us to enjoy and rest in heaven. Jesus will reward, every thought, word and deed that is prompted by faith in Him, on the new earth, our eternal inheritance.
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