Gifted people always find themselves in a predicament where envy is unveiled. It’s hard to accept that your friend, spouse, pastor could be envious of you, but the sooner you come to grips with greatness on the inside of you – the better. I use to be the person that would just let the side comments roll of my shoulder. I tried to show people that I was human, that I made mistakes. While authenticity is an extremely important component of being a believer, gifted people, you must realize that everyone will not be able to handle the details of mistakes….or your successes.
Jealousy and envy are not meant to kill you, but to drain you and keep you stagnant. If you were honest with yourself, you would admit that in many of your friendships, you have been less than authentic because you couldn't be yourself. Trust me, suppressing your discernment concerning your relationships and connections will increase your likelihood of becoming an unnecessary casualties of spiritual warfare.
Let’s define jealousy.
Jealousy is often defined as a green-eyed monster. I can confirm nor deny that. However, I can confirm that jealousy is an evil spirit that oppresses many individuals, especially individuals who have not properly dealt with their insecurities.
Jealousy occurs when there is a threat to something that is valuable to an individual. For example: let’s say you are an amazing singer and you join the choir. Coincidentally, you befriend another choir member who leads almost all the songs. Your presence in their life can either do two things: make them a better singer or make them jealous of you because your gift/anointing is stealing the spotlight. Get it?
Envy is an emotion that occurs when someone wants something that you have for themselves. Usually, envious individuals are willing to go to great lengths to harm you because they don’t want you to be superior over them. Additionally, envy can make a person preoccupied with comparison and repeatedly measure their self-worth against what they perceive to be your own. Gifted individuals, especially those with apparent leadership qualities will encounter people who envy the favor that God placed on their life. If you haven’t ready the story of Joseph, I suggest you re-read it through this lens.
The question is, how do we navigate through this rocky terrain of friendships and relationships as gifted people? I believe I have a few points that will make these journey a little easier:
1. It’s not your fault.
Dr. Piercarlo Valdesolo, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Claremont McKenna College, says, “The main predictor of whether any one individual is going to feel jealousy is their feelings about themselves”. Jealousy is an issue of self-esteem. Key word: self. I’ve seen so many people pass over opportunities to feed someone else's insecurities! Stop it. While it may pacify the spirit for the moment, it will not deliver them. Your presence, as a gifted individual, will only increase the manifestation of jealousy in insecure individuals until they are delivered and intentional about seeking deliverance.
Ask God to place you around other well-rounded, gifted individuals who are not intimidated by your success or favor. Despite what the enemy may try to tell you, there are some amazing individuals that would love to be your friend and will celebrate your successes. Don’t isolate yourself from community. Allow God to organically place you will people that will cause you to level up… without jealousy being the motivating factor.
2. Envy is painful
Normally, people want to devoid themselves of this pain that envy causes so they inflict harm on the person they are envious of in hopes that it will alleviate their pain. Envy is also an emotional survival technique. There are individuals who need to be the smartest, eat the best, have the best and have the best style in order to feel secure. Hold these individuals loosely. They will not be able to be a “good friend” with that level of insecurity. This is not the friend you tell your deepest secrets to. They will expose you, not because they hate you, but because they don’t want others to see that you are more favored than them. Remember, this is a spiritual issue. Allow God to handle them, just stay focused on your assignment.
3. Envy is sent to make you uncomfortable.
Admiration makes you all fuzzy and warm. Envy makes you isolate yourself. The last place you need to be is inside your head. The insecurities or desires of others should never dictate the rate at which you are willing to obey God and live your life to the fullest.
4. Announce your moves less.
Researchers found that people are more likely to think about a person they envy, pay attention to details about them, correctly remember that information much more than they would with someone who is not envied. This. Is. Creepy. Which is why you need to be aware of your surroundings. Remember, envious people will go to great lengths to neutralize a threat, so you need to be aware of the people in your circle and your circumference.
Many people scoff and say that Joseph would not have landed in a pit if he would not have bragged to his brothers. I beg to differ. Nonetheless, if Joseph would have recognized the depth of envy his brothers had against him, that acknowledgement may have worked in his favor.