“As they danced, they sang: “Saul has slain his thousands and David his tens of thousands.” Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands.” And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.” (1 Samuel 18:7-9, NIV)
“Jealousy takes root in the soil of insecurity.” Beth Moore
I’ve had the privilege of working with teenage and college girls for over twenty years now. It goes without saying that as I sit and talk with these girls, jealousy is always a topic that seems to surface. But let’s be honest, jealousy isn’t limited to being a teenage girl. Jealousy is a common tool the enemy will try to use in each of our lives as women.
I was talking a while back with a girl I use to mentor as a teenager. She is now a beautiful mom in her early 20’s. As we sat and talked about the fun of being a mom and also the struggles, she smiled and said, “Remember how you would tell us that comparing and competing with others often leads to jealousy? Well, I’m striving to pray against those things now as a mom as much as I did as a teenage girl.” I smiled and assured her that motherhood has certainly surfaced those same struggles in me also and has brought me back to seeking truth on this subject.
The truth is, when we seek to focus our eyes on others more than we focus our eyes on Jesus, we can easily allow jealousy to surface.
That was what happened with Saul. The reason Saul chose to keep a “jealous eye” on David was the fact that he realized David was getting more attention or praise than he was. He couldn’t celebrate the fact that David had just killed Goliath because he was so focused on himself.
The enemy knows that when he can get us to focus on ourselves and what we didn’t get, then we will struggle with loving and celebrating others.
For example we might scroll through social media and focus on how someone’s husband brought them flowers, but maybe yours rarely does. Or someone’s kid got an award, but yours didn’t. Or someone’s family got to go to Disneyworld, but unfortunately yours can’t afford a trip right now. Often in these moments, a seed of jealousy is planted.
Jealousy is often referred to as the “green eyed monster.” Our eyes, and what we focus on, can determine our perspective on so many things in life. Some of the things that God has been reminding me of from His Word on the topic of jealousy is that jealousy is a sin of the flesh. In Galatians 5:20 jealousy is listed as one of the acts of the sinful nature.
When we recognize that a seed of jealousy has been planted in our hearts, we must confess our sin and seek to replace that seed with truth.
God’s Word is truth, so let’s look to His Word to see what we must do to overcome a “jealous eye.”
Hebrews 12:2 says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…”
Psalm 141:8 says, “But my eyes are fixed on You, O Sovereign Lord, in you I take refuge…”
The word “fix” according to Dictionary.com is: to direct one’s eyes, attention and mind steadily or unwaveringly towards.
When we choose to FIX our eyes on Jesus and we seek to know Him and how much He loves us and calls us to love others, we will then begin to learn to thank Him for our own blessings of life, while also being able to celebrate the blessings of others.
When we choose to FIX our eyes on Jesus and the truth of His Word, we are reminded, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Timothy 6:6, NIV)
As we strive to learn to be content with the blessings God has given us and seek to thank Him for each of those blessings, He will begin to grow us in Godliness while teaching us to be content in our own circumstances.
When we choose to FIX our eyes upon Jesus we recognize what He says in Romans 12:21, “Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” I’ve learned that I must not be overcome by my sin of jealousy, but I must continually confess that sin, seek after truth, and strive to “fix” my eyes upon the “perfecter” of my faith.
As I began studying to write this blogpost on jealousy, which in all honesty I didn’t want to write because it just reminded me of my own sinful nature, I did find it fascinating as to how much scripture talks about our eyes.
“Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.” Psalm 119:37
“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your laws.” Psalm 119:1
May we as mommas seek daily to fix our eyes upon Jesus in order to truly allow Him to perfect our faith. May we seek to not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.
The following song has been playing over and over in my car this week. It is a prayer of my heart that we would truly “Turn our eyes upon Jesus.”
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (by Helen H. Lemmel)
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.