Have you ever been jealous of someone? You know when it’s jealousy because it’s that nagging reminder of an unfulfilled desire you have that’s aroused whenever you see someone else with it. Surprisingly, most of us think jealousy is something that’s small enough to handle (or hide) therefore, it’s usually one of the last things we think about dealing with. We think it’s a “light issue”. Some of us will altogether avoid facing our jealousy issues because of the other stuff that hides behind it like our insecurities, possessive behavior or pride; and may appear to look vulnerable. However, what we fail to realize is that if jealousy is not confronted, this “light issue” that breads death, will manage to spread through our whole lives looking to possess what it craves in others. We see that in this sister relationship between Leah and Rachael, Jacob’s wives.
Leah and Rachel were jealous towards each other. At first, Leah was jealous of her sister because she was married to a man whom she loved but he loved her sister more. And Rachel started to become jealous of Leah when she seen that she was not getting pregnant for Jacob. So, their relationship only ended up being an endless competition of who could bare the most children. They even made their servants sleep with Jacob so that they could bare him children.
I want to reiterate that there is usually a root cause for jealousy and we have to be self aware enough to discern it because if we don’t our discontentment and our desire for what we don’t possess will grow. For example, one day Leah’s son, Reuben brought her some mandrakes from the field and her sister Rachel asked if she could have some. Then all of a sudden, Leah just couldn’t hide her pain anymore therefore, Rachel should have been able to see what’s been hiding behind her sisters’ jealousy this whole time. Leah said, “Wasn’t it enough that you took away my husband? Will you take my son’s mandrakes too?” Leah actually unknowingly, confessed what was hiding behind her jealousy towards her sister but I think Rachel was also too jealous to see her sister’s pain. Instead, she simply bargained with her.
You see, Leah was jealous of the fact that no matter how many sons she bore for Jacob, she knew that would never win his heart. This was painful for Leah because this was her greatest desire. Rachel was jealous of the fact of how easily her sister was able to become pregnant and how hard it was for her. This was tough for Rachel to witness being that her greatest desire was to bear children of her own. We know this because she told her husband Jacob, ‘I will die if you don’t give me children!’
James 4 : 1,2 says,
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.”
Leah and Rachel’s jealousy may not have ended in a literal death (like some others in the bible) but their relationship definitely died. The sad reality of this sister relationship is that instead of confronting their issues for the sake of their relationship, they both allowed their internal battles and desires to drive a wedge so far between them that they spent the remainder of their lives quarreling and fighting with each other and ultimately, they both ended up feeling alone, discontent and unfulfilled.
I want to expose the ugliness of jealousy because it’s one of those things that can prevent us from truly being all God created us to be. When we are jealous we are not growing. So, when we find ourselves struggling with being jealous, we need to remind ourselves of the jewels God has placed inside of us and that He intended for us, not to look at someone else’s gift and fiercely desire it, but to tend to our own unique gifts he’s placed inside of us and learn how to grow with them. When we do this, we learn how to be satisfied in Christ and we are able see what others have and not want it or be it but instead, appreciate it.
*This is a Sunday Selfie Check(#selfiecheck) that happens each week at Jodie Dye’s and my place. Every week one of us will topic a heart issue followed by an experience, what you’ve learned through scripture about it and what the Word say’s about overcoming it. Then we link up! Jodie Dye is taking the lead this week. To take part of this week’s topic, visit Jodiesdye.wordpress.com.