Has Jealousy robbed you of living life to the fullest? For many years it enslaved me by its powerful grip and almost destroyed me!
You may or may not know that I have an identical twin brother. Growing up, we were inseparable and literally did everything together. As we became young adults, my parents would encourage us to become what they thought we should be…not in a forceful way, but as any loving parent would do. They thought my twin brother was a strong leader and would be this great preacher one day. So naturally, they spoke this over his life, but they didn’t envision this for me. They saw me more reserved…not quite as dynamic or strong. Even though my parents couldn’t see it, I felt like God had put an overwhelming desire deep down on the inside to share truths from God’s word with people so they could know God in a personal way and place their trust and hope in Him.
The fact my parents would encourage my brother to be a preacher, but not me, was quite disheartening to say the least, especially because it was a dream I believe God gave me. Ashamedly, I became jealous and envious of my brother and it began to eat me up! The Bible says, “A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones (Proverbs 14:30 NLT). This verse sums up exactly what was happening on the inside. I was being eaten up by jealousy and it was like cancer in my bones. I resented my brother simply because he was receiving praise for something I desperately wanted. It hurt me so deeply and caused me to sink into a pit of discouragement.
One day, God spoke to me while I was driving somewhere, “Cory, I am pleased with who I made you!” I didn’t understand exactly what He meant at the time, but over the course of the next several years, He exposed areas of my life where I was not pleased with who He made me to be and His purpose for my life.
Jesus had to teach His disciple Peter this very lesson. Jesus said to Peter, “‘I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.’ Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.” Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved—the one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked, “Lord, who will betray you?” Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?” Jesus replied, ‘If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me’” (John 21:18-22 NLT).
Jesus revealed what would take place for Peter in the future and Peter quickly pointed to John and said, “Well, what about him?” Jesus told him, “Follow Me.” There is so much freedom when we can keep our eyes on ourselves and the plan God has for us individually! If we try to compare our circumstances, the way we look, our finances, house, education, whether we receive encouragement or not or anything else, we will have unrest in our hearts and it will be like cancer to our bones or like drinking poison. God had a unique plan for Peter and He does for us too!
Just like Jesus asked Peter to follow Him, God is asking you and I to follow Him. God has great things in store for you! I had to let go of the hurt and pain and trust God and His purpose for my life, whether I received encouragement from my parents or not. Little by little, I released the situation to God and trusted that with His help, I could fulfill His plan for me. I stopped comparing myself to my twin brother and really wanted him to succeed in life! I started encouraging him, instead of resenting him and it was amazing to see God work! My sorrow and discouragement turned to joy!
Today, I am preaching and leading others into a relationship with Jesus Christ just like God had put in my heart and my parents actually can see that God has called me to preach. They even encourage me in this direction!!
I am convinced that if I would not have let go of jealousy and trying to be someone else, I would be stuck on the sidelines of life!
Just like me, you have a choice – you can choose to let go of jealousy and begin to experience the amazing plan and purpose God has marked out for you, or you can let it continue to rob you of peace and joy.
Choose life! Choose to trust God with His purpose for you and watch Him blow your mind with the good things He wants to do in and through you. He did it for me and eagerly desires to do it for you!