We’ve all felt it, that gnarly feeling in the pit of our stomach when we see someone doing (or getting) something we want for ourselves.
In the past, I was the queen of shutting down feelings of jealousy or envy as soon as they cropped up. I felt ashamed and ‘un-Christian’ for feeling that way so I’d do a quick “Sorry God, I know I shouldn’t feel like this. Please forgive me!” or, worse yet, deny I was feeling that way in the first place. “Me? Jealous? No way. I love encouraging and championing other people, there’s no room for jealousy in my heart.”
Then, a few years ago during a meeting with a mentor, he asked me the question, “Who (and what) are you jealous of?” Gulp. I didn’t even want to think about it. When I finally started sharing what triggered jealousy in me, I actually cried. Partially because of embarrassment, partially because it was painful to admit.
Owning my feelings of jealousy exposed deep longings in my heart, disappointment from things that hadn’t gone the way I’d hoped, fear that somehow God loved ‘them’ more than me, concern that I was disqualified in some way, that I’d failed, etc.
Turns out my jealousy was simply sitting on other—deeper—painful emotions.
My mentor went on to say that we are jealous of people who not only have gifts or talents that we admire, but who carry something that we ALMOST ALWAYS carry ourselves. In other words, they’re acting as a mirror to the unacknowledged gifts or dreams in our own lives. For whatever reason, there’s pain in our hearts, which is why the jealousy flares up.
Doesn’t that put a different spin on jealousy?
From that point on, whenever I found myself starting to feel jealous of someone, rather than instantly trying to get rid of the feeling, I got curious.
What about this situation or person is triggering this feeling?
What similar gifts do I have that perhaps I’m in denial about because I’m afraid or hurt?
Jesus, what’s the truth here?
Now it’s your turn. Grab a journal or open a Note in your phone.
What makes me jealous?
Once you know, go through the above questions and dig in a little deeper.
Here’s one truth that Jesus has shown me:
Even if you have what feels like identical gifts to someone else, even if you’re afraid that “it’s all been done before, there’s no room for my gifts” the truth is that the way your gifts are expressed are impacted by your story and life. Even if you had exactly the same gifts as someone else, they haven’t lived your life. Your spin on it will always be different. And there are people who need that, who will resonate with you in a way they won’t resonate with so-and-so down the road doing (what you think is) exactly the same thing.
Trust me here. It’s taken me a long time, but what I know for sure is that there’s room for you, too.
Want to gain more clarity on your unique gifts and purpose? I have a 2-session coaching package that will help you understand not only your current season, but what dreams are being highlighted to you right now. It’s fun, highly prophetic, and over the course of 3 hours, you’ll walk away with both clarity and personalized next steps towards fulfilling your dreams. If you’re interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “prophetic clarity coaching” in the subject line and I’ll send you the info.
I’m cheering you on, today and always.