Have you ever heard the news about someone and you instantly felt less than or disappointed or even jealous? Yeah, me neither. Who am I kidding? Let me just be really honest with you. I feel that all. the. time. In fact, I can feel that way multiple times a day. Maybe it happened while scrolling through Instagram and you noticed something amazing. Maybe it was someone’s home. Or maybe someone’s selfie showing off their diet success. Or maybe it was someone who does the same thing you do and people are praising her. Is it tough to double tap that picture? Do you immediately think a negative thought either about that person or about yourself? Sometimes I can find myself holding back the double tap as if that will lessen their achievement or something.
Let me just give you a little glimpse into my own fallen nature. I recently started a podcast and there is another podcast who is more established than mine. But every time I turn on social media, I see her one step ahead. I book a guest and the next thing I know that guest is on her show. I have an idea of something extra to do, and low and behold she does it, too. But instead of cheering on the fact that this guest is going to be highlighted not only on my show, but also on this other show, I chose to grumble. To complain. To whine. To feel less than. I hold back my double tap. I call a friend to complain about it.
I can’t be the only one who struggles with this.
There is one word that describes how I felt: jealousy. Jealousy says, “I like what you have. I don’t like that you have and I want it.” It can also be defined as feeling bitter and unhappy because of another’s advantages. I was unhappy with the state of my own thing — my podcast — and it was due to the fact that I was jealous of someone else’s advantage — that I wanted. After a few minutes of whining, I sat down and made one important choice. I choose to celebrate. I double tapped that picture. I sent a message cheering her on.
Because here is what I have learned over the years: celebrating is the key to removing the weed of jealousy. Whatever or whoever threatens you privately — your job, your worth, your standing — you should celebrate them publicly. Even if you can’t bring yourself to say the words out loud to that person, celebrate them out loud to God. The more you celebrate, the most jealousy will be weeded out of your heart.
Chances are that you don’t have to really wonder if you struggle with jealousy because if usually blearing obvious to yourself if you do, but here are some clear signs of a jealous heart.
- God owes me. I deserve that. I’ve been a good person. God owes me a boyfriend, the job, or what they have.
- Quick to point out other’s faults. If that’s the first thing you notice about people then you probably have a heart problem. “Well, she is just all about herself.” Or, “I can’t believe she was featured because she’s not that funny.”
- Threatened by talented and important people. When you look online or see people in person, are you threatened by them? When you are around someone who does what you do, are you threatened?
- Measures success in other’s failures. When other people fail, does your self-worth increase?
All signs read towards the condition of my heart. And it wasn’t healthy. But with the simple action of celebrating, jealousy came loose. When I am 85 years old, I don’t want to be a jealous woman. And I certainly don’t want to pass down a legacy of jealousy to my girls. I knew I needed a daily reminder so I created an alert on my phone to prompt me everyday at the same time. Here is my prompt: “God, make me someone who celebrates immediately the success of others.” It’s not good enough for me to celebrate others successes, but I want the action of celebration to happen immediately. I don’t want to linger and struggle with the choice. I want a heart that is free to celebrate when others win.