GOD liked Abel and his offering, but Cain and his offering didn’t get his approval. Cain lost his temper and went into a sulk. GOD spoke to Cain: “Why this tantrum? Why the sulking? If you do well, won’t you be accepted? And if you don’t do well, sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce; it’s out to get you, you’ve got to master it.” (Genesis 4:5-7) - The Message
Be honest. Do you believe that there is someone out there who is better than you at what you do?
How does that make you feel?
Do you feel jealous when being around that person?
If you find that someone is better at something than you are, it's so that you can be thankful for them. But let’s be real, we don’t naturally feel grateful for those people who are better than us, we feel jealousy, don’t we? You and I can’t help it. The very thought that God has made someone better out there than you, it just threatens your very existence, doesn’t it? Or at least it seems that way in the moment of your jealousy.
"Self-love is, no doubt, the usual foundation of human jealousy...the fear lest another should by any means supplant us."
Jealousy has been going on for a long time. Think about the second story in the bible. Cain and Abel. Brothers. Both brought offerings to God. One was accepted. One was rejected. Cain feels jealous and kills his brother (Genesis 4:1-8). He didn’t kill his brother to take anything from him. Cain couldn’t stand the thought that His best wasn’t the best at all, and murdered him instead of learning to do what was best for God by looking to Abel by example. That’s because Cain no longer saw Abel as his brother, he saw Abel as competition. It’s a deep root in humanity. It’s fostered in us in all types of ways, whether feeling jealous of other family members, classmates, friends, co-workers, or even our next-door neighbors. There are lots of ways that jealousy can divulge when comparing ourselves to others.
"He that is jealous is not in love."
Jealousy is natural to our world that is void of love. If you learn to love people, then you will learn not to be threatened by them. You don’t have to be jealous of what others have. You should just learn to be happy for them.
How can we do this?
Part of it is learning to affirm who you are. That’s right! If you want to learn to love people, learn to love who you are, by accepting who God has made you to be, and who you are not made to be. You can’t be like everybody else; you can’t be everybody. God has made different people for different reasons. Learning to accept this and understand how He has made you, helps you to embrace diversity, not be threatened by it.
Learn to appreciate who they are, and if you want to be better, don’t look at what they have and what you don’t. Learn from them how they might be doing whatever makes them better in the first place. If Cain had just been thankful for His brother, he could have learned why he was rejected and why Abel’s was accepted. However, when we refuse to learn how to do things better, we will inevitably act out in our destructive behavior and make matters worse.
"O, Jealousy, thou ugliest fiend of hell! thy deadly venom preys on my vitals, turns the healthful hue of my fresh cheek to haggard shallowness, and drinks my spirit up."