The Cure For Jealousy

Highpoint   -  

Have you ever noticed how bitter coffee can be, especially when you’re not used to it? Most people have the same initial reaction to drinking it black. They cringe. Why? Because bitterness causes a gut-level, cringe reaction in all of us. What about when bitterness isn’t contained to coffee? What about when our hearts are struggling with bitterness? The reality is that most of us struggle with bitterness to some degree or another. It creeps into our lives when we feel slighted, overlooked, or when we experience injustice.

In our daily interactions, it’s easy to cringe at the success or ease others seem to have compared to our struggles. Whether it’s allergies, relationships, or parenting, bitterness can find a foothold when we perceive others as having it easier than us. But bitterness isn’t just a passing feeling; it’s a lens through which we view the world.

Take the story of Naomi from the book of Ruth. Naomi experienced profound loss—her husband and sons died, leaving her empty and bitter. She returned home, renaming herself Mara, meaning bitter. Bitterness consumed her identity, shaping how she saw everything.

Ruth 1:1-5—In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. 2 The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there. 3 Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4 They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, 5 both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.

Ruth 1:19-20–19 So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi? “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”

But bitterness isn’t just a personal struggle; it affects those around us. Like a poisonous root, it spreads and defiles relationships. The Bible warns against letting bitterness take root in our hearts, emphasizing the importance of gratitude and maintaining our spiritual health.

Hebrews 12:15—See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;

So, how do we break free from bitterness? It starts with gratitude towards God. Despite our hardships, we can choose to focus on what’s going right instead of dwelling on what’s wrong. Even in the midst of our most difficult seasons, God is still worthy of our gratitude. There is still much to be thankful about. Giving thanks in all circumstances shifts our perspective and aligns us with God’s will.

Remember, a bad moment doesn’t equate to a bad life. By choosing gratitude over bitterness, we can cultivate peace, joy, and hope in our lives and relationships. Let’s embrace gratitude as a pathway to freedom from bitterness and a deeper connection with God and others.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18—16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Today, choose thanksgiving to God over bitterness, and experience the transformative power of gratitude.