Friday, January 13, 2012

The Love Dare - Day Eight

Love is Not Jealous

Jealousy is one of the strongest drives known to man.  It comes from the root word for zeal and means “to burn with an intense fire.”

There are actually two forms: a legitimate jealousy based upon love, and an illegitimate jealousy based upon envy.  Legitimate jealousy sparks when someone you love, who belongs to you, turns his or her heart away and replaces you with someone else.

We will focus on the illegitimate kind of jealousy that is in opposition to love – the one that is rooted in selfishness. This is to be jealous of someone, to be “moved with envy.” Do you struggle with being jealous of others?   It has been said that people are fine with our succeeding, just as long as it is not more than theirs.  Jealousy is a common struggle.  It is sparked when someone else upstages you and gets something you want.  This can be very painful depending upon how selfish you are. 

You don’t usually get jealous of disconnected strangers.  The ones you’re tempted to jealous of are primarily in the same arena with you.  They work in your office, play in your league, run in your circles … or live in your house.  Yes, if you aren’t careful, jealousy can also infect your marriage.

When you were married, you were given the role of becoming your spouse’s biggest cheerleader and the captain of his or her fan club.  But if selfishness rules, any good thing happening to only one of you can be a catalyst for envy rather than congratulations.  Because love is not selfish and puts other first, it refuses to let jealousy in.  It leads you to celebrate the successes of your spouse rather than resenting them. 

It is time to let love, humility, and gratefulness destroy any jealousy that springs up in your heart.  It’s time to let your mate’s successes draw you closer together and give you greater opportunities to show genuine love.

Today’s Dare

Determine to become your spouse’s biggest fan and to reject any thoughts of jealousy.  To help set your heart on your spouse and focus on their achievements, take yesterday’s list of negative attributes and discreetly burn it.  Then share with your spouse how glad you are about a success he or she recently enjoyed.

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