4 Ways to Conquer Envy and Jealousy Towards Other Women

I believe Oprah put it best, "You can't be friends with someone who wants your life."

Let's be clear, envy and jealousy comes for us all, especially in today's world where you're just one click away from comparing your life with the highly filtered life of your favorite fashionista, celebrity or guru.

God warns us, in the Book of James not to brush envy off like it doesn't exist, or allow it do drive our ambitions and the way we treat one another. 

"But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic." -James 3:14-15

Now that we know envy and jealousy is unspiritual, how do we keep these negative emotions from turning our eyes green and from ruining our relationships with others, especially other women? 

In order to keep envy and jealousy from disrupting your life, your zone and your ability to develop relationships with sister-friends, there has to be a clear separation from your life and the lives of other women.

You must know in your heart, no one is you, and this divine truth is a good thing that works in your favor.

Based on what Jesus proclaims in John 10:10, none of us should covet the life of another because we've been given access to an abundantly full life through Him.

Keep in mind, abundance for you, will look differently than abundance for your neighbor. It's up to you to get acquainted with who you are and what abundant life means for you. Before I list some ways you can begin to figure this out, let me first define what envy and jealousy is a bit more (so we can know what we're dealing with). 

Jealousy is when you resent or sense a threat surrounding another's achievements or success. Envy is similar, however it focuses in on a specific object. For instance: She's envious of her skin tone or the texture of her hair.

Here are four ways to help you become more aware of yourself and your direction in life, so you can be a better sister-friend, AND keep envy and jealousy in its place. 

1. Position yourself towards developing your relationship God. Be intentional about centering yourself enough to get an understanding of how God formed you and for what, so you can know yourself and what you're made of. This will help you differentiate yourself and your gifts from others. I know this Scripture is popular, but it's perfect to meditate on, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you… (Jeremiah 1:5)." If God knew you before you were formed, God's the most qualified source to go to learn more about your identity and purpose. 

2. Place the tough self-engagement questions at God's feet in prayer. However you pray is fine, whether it's while walking, driving or in your favorite spot at home, but make sure you silence yourself and go to God in expectation with questions about yourself. For instance: What do I need to know about myself God? Can you help me see myself the way you see me? Then practice waiting for God to respond. Silence yourself for a few minutes (longer if you can bear it). The more you practice being still, the more you'll be able to tap into what's true or untrue about you.

A common question I get is: Does God respond in an audible voice? For me, it's more like an impression or a response within. 

3. Put time in to know thyself. Discovering your worth is the best gift you can give you, your community and the world. The more you know yourself through God's eyes, the more confident and optimistic you'll be about your direction in life. First, commit to getting engaged with you, then the self-discovery process begins. It won't be all peachy, but it will be restorative and worth the effort. You may discover you've been carrying around lies about yourself, something a family member said that has shaped who you are. Now, you can do your part to let the lies go. 

4. Play your part (be who God designed you to be). As women, especially brown women, we have so many explicit images and negative presumptions to contend with on a daily basis. The images you see can make you think you're not enough, like you need to be someone else in order to succeed or be happy. I know it all can be exhausting to take in, but the world's ideals are not true or fulfilling. I've found, knowing yourself and playing your part helps to combat the comparison game, of envy and jealousy. Your relationships with other women will flourish, when you stick to playing your part.

Lock in with who you are, and enjoy your friends, sisters and community for who they are.

What are your thoughts about envy and jealousy? How has embracing yourself and your gifts helped you with how you relate to other women? I'd like to know, comment below.

Much Love, 

Tiffany Wilson, M.Div aka @tiffytalks

If you want to build positive connections with other women and take a step to get closer to God, I invite you to join the virtual {FAVRD} Bible Study community. Our first live meet up is happening August 26th in Philly!

CLICK HERE to learn more about the beautiful {FAVRD} community.

[Published via Original Website June 26, 2014. Edited, July, 7 2018] 

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