When I was eight, I was jealous of the popular girls in my class.  When they got Izod shirts, I begged for an Izod.  When they got Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, I begged for Gloria Vanderbilt jeans. When they got Cabbage Patch dolls, I begged for a Cabbage Patch doll.  If they had it, I wanted it.  Sadly, even though I’d occasionally get what they had, things didn’t improve.  I still wasn’t popular and my heart still wasn’t rid of the jealousy that consumed it.  In our world, I believe there is a jealousy-conspiracy we do not like to admit and its conspirator is an enemy we do not see. But its success rate?  Out of the 10 friends I had that year in third grade, all 10 stopped being my friend by the end of the year.  Not bad, Satan, 10 for 10.  As I got older, I got tired of this conspiracy being played against me.  So I started doing “word-searches” in the bible for jealousy (and its cousins, “covet” and “envy”). I knew God did not wire me for jealousy. It is NOT a quality HE put in HIS creation. So there HAD to be a way to fight back…and win. Through my word-search, I learned that if I am jealous of someone it means I am still trying to control myself. (1 Corinthians 3:3). But who am I to control myself? It’s like the lump of clay asking itself to shape it into a pot. Impossible! So I started to do 2 things every day to give God control: 1) ask God to forgive me for any jealous thoughts and 2) sincerely pray for one I was jealous of. It worked! I couldn’t believe it! Eventually, instead of being jealous of what I DIDN’T have, I found my heart wanting to celebrate what others DID have. Jealousy is a serious conspiracy. It has led men to kill their wives. It has led brothers to kill their brothers. It’s not sexy. And if you struggle with it, I’m hear to testify, there is a strategy and you can have victory!

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