When you look closely at the word jealousy there's something vital that stands out. The feeling of jealousy makes you feel lousy! Karen Wolff of Christian-Books-for-Women.com considers the causes of jealousy and then describes simple, practical steps for overcoming jealousy.
How Do You Define Jealousy?
The word "jealously" in Webster's dictionary is defined as "zealous vigilance." Somehow this definition doesn't seem to carry the powerful force of emotion in jealousy. The Bible says in Proverbs 27:4, "Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?" (NIV)
That seems to give a little more meaning to the word.
Jealousy - An Ancient Emotion
What ever happened to the days when people were genuinely happy for one another? Do you remember those days when nobody ever wanted something that someone else had? Oh, wait! Those days never existed.
Jealousy is probably one of the world's oldest emotions. It's been around since the beginning of time. Look at Cain and Abel. Now there's a prime example of jealousy run amok.
What causes jealousy? Why does it start and how do we overcome jealousy?
Common Causes of Jealousy:
- Unmet expectations. Many times we place unrealistic expectations on ourselves and the people around us. Often times we feel things should come easier and faster to us. Then if things don't happen when we think they should, we inevitably run into someone who already has what we want. All of a sudden, we feel this surge of ugly, green emotion called jealousy.
- A sense of entitlement. For some reason we have this ingrained attitude that we are entitled to things. Kids leaving the nest for the first time believe their own standard of living should be the same as their parents. They don't consider that their parents have worked for years and years. Many times people with financial problems feel "entitled" to buy things on credit, even though they know it's a bad idea. Having the nicest car and the newest toys seems more important than getting out of debt.
- Insecurity. It is so easy to look at other people and wish we had what they have. And so many times it doesn't stop there. We start berating ourselves for not having what they have. Then we begin to believe negative junk ourselves. The next thing we know, we've developed insecurities in our relationships.