“Why do all the guys like her?” “She has plans every weekend! She never sits home!” “I wish I was as smart as her!”
Ever hear these types of phrases at your home? From the outside looking in, it is pretty easy to spot envy when we see it in our students. From their point, it might not be so clear.
A very common emotion, jealousy is simply a negative feeling. The important thing is what comes of it. Do we use it as a spring board to learn more about what is important to our student? Perhaps they are self-conscience about their weight. Maybe they have a fear of being left out. Envy may be a sign that she struggles with insecurity.
By asking questions that are packaged with real concern and not judgement, we can help our students learn the why to the emotions they are feeling. When it is still in this stage, we can come along side them, helping them to process their thoughts and feelings. We can support them as they work through changing their perspective from one of wanting what someone else has to being grateful for the great things God has given them.
This process may take time; it is a huge step in maturity and not an overnight fix. Since jealousy is often rooted in insecurity, this is a time to help your student grasp hold of the gifts and talents God has given them. Even more importantly, it is a time to point them to finding their security in the truth that God made them to fulfill their callings and has equipped them with everything they need to accomplish those.
One further thought: When you have feelings of jealousy, how do you process those?
This past year, I had an issue with my car. I had chosen years ago to get a very practical car that got amazing gas mileage. But this year, I began to wish for a “grown up” car; one that didn’t look like my teen’s. I had car envy! I decided to share this situation with my teens. By telling them about my struggle and how I was processing it, it gave my kids an opportunity to see that I am real, have struggles and find the strength to make the right decisions with God’s help.
Does your student struggle with jealousy? Maybe like me, you’ve struggled with jealousy as well. How have you handled this emotion with your student and helped them to process this powerful emotion?