Psalm 57

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.
I cry out to God Most High,
to God, who vindicates me.
He sends from heaven and saves me,
rebuking those who hotly pursue me—
God sends forth his love and his faithfulness.
I am in the midst of lions;
I am forced to dwell among ravenous beasts—
men whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.
They spread a net for my feet —
I was bowed down in distress.
They dug a pit in my path—
but they have fallen into it themselves.
My heart, O God, is steadfast,
my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and make music.
Awake, my soul!
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.

David wrote this psalm when he was fleeing from King Saul, who was out to kill him. Why did Saul hate David so much? David had been like a son to him. The simple answer is jealousy. David became very popular with the people after winning a string of victories. One day, as David returned victorious from battle, the people chanted: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands” (1 Samuel 18:7). Saul heard this and was infuriated. Scripture says that an “evil spirit” entered Saul, undoubtedly the spirit of jealousy, and he made it his life’s mission to kill David.

That’s what jealousy can do: drive people to murder. We may not be able to kill them physically, but we can do an excellent job of destroying their reputations, which is worse because the person has to deal with the repercussions. Although that is bad, the repercussions to ourselves are worse because it means eternal damnation. So, the question is: how do we deal with jealousy?

We can learn a few things from David, but here are a few practical steps we can also take.

Cultivate gratitude. When we are grateful for the blessings we have received, we are less bothered by what people have, no?

Stop drawing comparisons. We are all created differently, but that doesn’t mean one person is better than another. God created you to be you, so delight in that. Embrace your uniqueness.

Practice self-acceptance. Accept yourself as you are, warts and all. When you have a healthy sense of self-worth, you are less likely to be threatened by the successes of others.

Limit social media. Social media can be a breeding ground for comparison and jealousy. Focus on real-life connections and meaningful activities that bring you joy instead.

Seek personal growth. Explore new interests, learn new skills, and focus on becoming the best version of yourself. When you are engaged in your own journey of growth, there is less room for comparison and jealousy.

Celebrate other people’s successes. Okay, this can be difficult, but it should be much easier if we follow the steps I just spoke about. You will soon take genuine joy from the successes of others.

Seek support. If jealousy persists and begins impacting your well-being, consider seeking support from a counselor. They can help you navigate through challenging emotions and stop you from doing stupid things — like committing murder.

I hope that helps. God bless you.

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