Jealousy, like all enemies to our heart, stem from the root cause of our now getting what we want. Jealousy, specifically, comes from our not having what someone else has. The key to uprooting jealousy is admitting that we need to be going to God with our needs and wants, rather than coveting what others have. The habits of celebrating what others have that we would like and being thankful to God for what He has already given us will finish the work of keeping jealousy from disrupting the rhythm of our heart.
Greed is the assumption that what we have is for our consumption. Greed believes the lie that we owe it to ourselves to make sure we have the kind of lifestyle we want to have. Greed results in the refusal to bless others with the extra that God has given us, whether that in with money, time, skill, possessions or any other resource we have been blessed with. While as Christians we say and believe that God is the owner and we are stewards, greed moves us to live differently. Generosity is the antidote to greed in our hearts, freeing us to love God and others as our hearts have been made to do.
Anger comes when we don’t get what we want or deserve or think we deserve. We feel and believe that the person who wronged us owes us a debt for what they’ve done. Anger is not wrong in itself, but if it is not addressed and remains in our hearts it will spill over into our other relationships. The key to removing anger from our hearts is forgiveness. Jesus taught forgiveness is about cancelling the debts owed to us. Just like God cancelled our debt to Him through Jesus.
Guilt attacks our heart by creating in us an “I owe you” dynamic in our relationship. Guilt is healthy when we do something wrong, but if unaddressed it will get our heart out of rhythm. The way out from guilt is confession. Agreeing to the truth of the wrong(s) we’ve done, and looking to make what restitution we can as part of a pledge to change our behaviour in the future. Confession is not about fixing our relationship, though that is a hopeful outcome. Confession is about freeing our heart from guilt, so we can freely love.
While we are likely aware of the need to care for our physical heart, many of us may not be sure how to take care of our spiritual heart. While we may be tempted to see our negative emotions or reactions to life coming because of what is happening around us, Jesus taught these negative actions, attitudes and words come from within. God’s solution to our spiritual heart issues is not to fix our heart, but to give us a new one … His own.