HOUSE FELLOWSHIP TEACHING OUTLINE (22/08/2018)
TOPIC: CHRISTIAN VICES AND VIRTUES (10) – ENVY AND JEALOUSY
[su_divider top=”no” size=”1″ margin
TEXT: 1 Corinthians 3:3
As you will recall, we introduced the co-joined topic of envy and jealousy last week and attempted to explain the evil in them. It is good to mention at this point that there is more about these emotions that we encourage you to dig deeper about them and pray also for the Spirit of God in you to conquer these subtle but silent killers of faith and life.
Both envy and jealousy are primal emotions i.e. they are as old as man. We unconsciously pick them up early in life and they grow as we grow. That is why we hear things like “sibling rivalry”, where a little child, for example, is envious or jealous of a sibling for what the sibling has/is getting or for taking away the attention/affection of the parents from him/her. This pattern of behaviour is driven by a feeling of insecurity, and if left unchecked results in low self-esteem later in life.
Children should be taught to develop sense of self sufficiency early in life. This will make them understand that God fully endowed them with unique features to live distinctive lives on earth (Psalm 139:13-14). As such, they should not compare themselves with any other person as no two people are ever the same (Galatians 6:4-6; 2 Corinthians 10:12). This will bring about self-appreciation as well as gratitude towards God.
Adults on the other hand who have grown with these behaviours can overcome them. This can be achieved through primarily accepting scriptural truths and allowing themselves to be transformed positively – in a godly way (John 8:32; Romans 12:2). Below are some of the ways out.
THE WAY OUT
- Shift your attention to the goodness in your own life as you develop intimate relationship with Him (Exodus 33:19; Psalm 23:6)
- Celebrate the success of others (Romans 12:15; Luke 1:57-58)
- Associate with grateful people and avoid those who habitually value wrong things (Psalm 1:1-2; 1 Corinthians 15:33)
- Avoid materialism (Ecclesiastes 5:10; Hebrews 13:5)
- Focus on God as your only source (Philippians 4:19; Psalm 23:1; Matthew 6:32)
- Be contented (1 Timothy 6:6-8; Mark 8:36)
- Separate yourself from the world (Romans 12:2; 1 John 2:15)
- Do not live to please man (Galatians 1:10)
- Spend your life seeking to please God (Mark 12:30; Proverbs 3:5-6)
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
As noted earlier, one of the easiest ways to despair oneself and end up being envious and jealous is to compare self with other people. We can avoid this and instead, find balance again by looking at ourselves in relation to Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). Seeking God’s wisdom delivers us from the need to compare ourselves with others and desiring what they have and releases us to a life of fulfilment by unlocking the virtues in us to affect the world in a unique way.