Recognizing that you are experiencing feelings of jealousy and envy is a beginning to do something about it. Our culture makes idols of success, possessions and wealth. If we have these, we will be happy. Not necessarily true. There are many successful and wealthy people but they are some of the most unhappy people in the world, not because they are successful or wealthy but because they make idols of these things. I have learned that the main causes of jealousy and envy are a poor self-image and a lack of gratitude.
People who have a poor self-image look to success and wealth and possessions to make them feel better about themselves. They want others to see how successful they are. Unfortunately, people are never satisfied. There is always the desire to want more. When is it enough? Our self worth comes from the God who created us, not what we own or possess.
A lack of gratitude makes us focus on what we do not have, rather than on what we do have. When we are grateful, we focus on the blessings in our own lives. The glass is half full rather than half empty. When we appreciate and express gratitude, our life glows brighter and we are showered with more blessings and I believe we are a lot happier.
What steps can you take toward taming your jealousy and envy? First, begin a gratitude journal. Each day write down three things, people, situations, etc. that you are grateful for. It can be as simple as someone giving you a smile or a driver letting you in their lane. Second, focus on relationships not things. Bring kindness and generosity to these relationships. Just because others may have more or seem more successful does not take away from your value as a person. And you will find that relationships are more fulfilling and lasting than possessions and success.