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Don't succumb to the 'green-eyed monster' of jealousy.

"Let us walk properly ... not in quarreling and jealousy."

--Romans 13:3 (NIV)

Shakespeare referred to it as the green-eyed monster. The first time it was evident to me was decades ago when I watched a friend approach her boyfriend with sarcastic taunts. Throwing emotional darts with her words, she was hoping to make a bull's-eye, and leave some sort of mark on his soul, and win him over.

It was evident the green-eyed monster jealousy had taken its toll on her emotions.

Jealousy is an emotion we've all experienced to one degree or another. Co-workers, mates, siblings, teammates have all contended with it. Experts say it's usually a sign of insecurity. The more secure we become, the better we handle it.

Although that is true, as I see it, becoming more secure is only a part of it. It's more complicated, because it's intertwined with the secret longings of our hearts.

So how do we handle those longings and the jealous feelings when they stir?

Jealousy comes into play when there is something in particular we desire, whether it be a job, special relationship, or something material. And we want it more than anything.

Anyone who has had a pang of jealousy can tell you it is not a confident feeling. Time and again when acted on in a negative manner, it's been known to increase insecurity and destroy relationships rather than help them. It is considered self-centered when too much focus is placed on it.

Oftentimes, when acting on jealousy, people try building themselves up to the other person. This doesn't usually work well. Although, depending on the situation, there may be a place and time for mentioning strong points, in general, it's best to show attributes by displaying them rather than saying them to look good.

The opposite behavior of tearing down the other person in order to look better rarely works either. Pointing out negative behavior for the purpose of protecting someone, or to confront them in a healthy constructive way to correct a problem, is the only reason to bring up someone's faults.

Allow yourself time to cool down and pray about your emotions before acting on them. If you can't manage your emotions alone, find someone to talk to who will listen and provide some support to work through your negative feelings.

Acknowledge to yourself the grief of any losses or disappointments. Learn to be happy for others. Admire and compliment what others have, even when you desire something like it for yourself. Tell God your desires. Stay in faith that good things can still take place. Make constructive goals and plans to achieve your desires.

Put in perspective that another person's success does not negate yours, even if you're not where you want to be. Count your blessings, even if they're only a few. Be gentle with yourself and remind yourself God loves you.

Like all unhealthy emotions, learning to put jealousy aside helps us feel better and go forward to be our best.

* Annettee Budzban is a Christian author, speaker, life coach and nurse. She will be speaking at Church of The Holy Spirit in Schaumburg Monday, May 15. For details, call Nancy at (847) 894-7931. Annettee can be contacted at or (847) 543-8413. She is available to speak to your group or be a personal life coach.

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Title Annotation:Neighbor
Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Apr 12, 2019
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