DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: My sister’s husband is very successful, and I can’t help but be jealous over all the nice things she has and the fun things they’re able to do. Is it wrong for me to be jealous like this? — J.W.
DEAR J.W.: Let me ask you a question: Does your jealousy of your sister draw you closer to her, or does it pull you apart? Does it make you rejoice over the good things that have happened to her, or does it make you bitter and upset (even, perhaps, to the point of secretly wishing that something bad might happen to her)?
I think you know the answer. Jealousy never brings anything good with it. At best, it may only make us envious; at worst, it can destroy our relationships and eat away at our souls. Part of the problem is that jealousy seldom exists by itself. Instead, it brings with it a host of other sins like anger, greed, covetousness, bitterness and so forth. No wonder the Bible says, “Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?” (Proverbs 27:4).
How can you deal with this? First, honestly confess it to God and ask him to help you overcome these feelings. In addition, ask God to help you deal with any deeper issues you may have, such as injured pride or covetousness. One of the Ten Commandments declares, “You shall not covet … anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20:17).
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The key is to see your sister the way God sees her. God loves you both, and Christ died for you both. Thank God for her, and ask him to help you love her the same way Christ does — freely and unconditionally and with grace.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
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