Jealousy can poison a relationship. According to Proverbs 14:30, “envy rots the bones.” Your friends probably don’t mean to be poisonous to your relationship and would not admit to coveting what you have, so treat them with love. Encouragement, appreciation for the jealous friend, compassion and prayer can help you deal with the friend's jealousy and retain the friendship.
Jealousy can be a sign that your friend is fearful that she will never achieve what you have, according to therapist Mark Tyrrell's website, Uncommon Help. Help your friend reduce jealousy by encouraging her to believe that she can reach her goals and achieve success. Remind her of her accomplishments and point out areas where she excels. Tell her that you believe in her. Encourage her to see you as her cheerleader and a teammate in shared projects.
Each person has specific blessings from God, suitable to their life and talents, counsels Christian Counseling and Educational Services in their devotional, “A Jealous Heart.” Ask your friend to share his blessings, such as his job, his adorable baby or his professional accomplishments. Focus on his blessings to reduce the spotlight on what he envies in your life. Talk about areas where he excels and how he inspires you to succeed. You might pray with him, thanking God for the blessings in his life.
You can respond to your jealous friend as Jesus did, with compassion and love. Your friend doesn’t know that your success or blessings don’t limit her own, writes Emma Straub in a Huffington Post article, “When Good Things Happen to Other People: How to Handle Jealousy.” Help your friend realize that your accomplishments do not limit her success. Respond to any jealous behaviors with love. Refuse to snipe or gossip about her.
Jealous friends say things that hurt. Pray that God will bless them in meaningful ways so that they will focus on what they have to be thankful for, instead of focusing on the blessings in your life. Offer to support your jealous friend in prayer. Partner in prayer with him each week and check in periodically to see how he is progressing toward his goal. Rejoice in his success.
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- Pearls: Scriptures to Live by, Compiled by Dr. Brian Campbell
Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.
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