3 Ways to Overcome An Ugly Enemy That We All Fight

The past two years, the Whitworth family has become fans of women’s basketball.  Ok, in all honesty, fans of Caitlyn Clark.  She is often called a “once in a generation” type player and on top of it all, she’s been a great role model for boys and girls of all ages. 

The stadiums are often sold out when Caitlyn’s team, the Indiana Fever, is in town.  (The Fever already sold more tickets in the first five home games compared to all tickets sold last year.)

Who doesn’t love a person or player like that!? 

Well, apparently there are quite a few folks who don’t, including some in the WNBA and the media.  And of course, there are those on social media who look to fan the flames of controversy, even when there isn’t one. 

To say the least, the response towards Caitlyn’s contribution to the sport is often wrapped in petty jealousy.  They are jealous of her basketball prowess, her popularity, and financial success.  Their arguments are wrapped in pious evaluations that wonder, out loud, how could anyone that young deserve her acclaim.

You see, the definition of jealousy is resentment against a rival, or a person enjoying success or an advantage that you do not possess.  Jealousy is ugly and it’s easy to see in others, but difficult to diagnose and deal with when it’s you.

So, believe it or not, this is not about Caitlyn Clark. It’s really about an enemy that we all fight, and it is ugly.  The enemy is jealousy, and it rears its ugly head when we least expect it.

It often appears at work when a co-worker gets the promotion that you deserve.  At school, it may look like favoritism towards an unworthy classmate, and at home, a sibling or spouse gets all the attention even though you do the work! 

I have seen it in all these situations. The worst part of all, is that it is in me

Age has taught me that my first reactions are almost always petty and small.  It’s called “human nature”, and it is the very thing that Paul, the apostle, talks about putting to “death” because we’re followers of Jesus and have His new life within us.  Knowing this doesn’t make it any easier.

Jealousy often points to an insecurity that each of us have.  (Some of us are more insecure than others, but none of us are complete apart from Jesus.)  It also reveals a lack of gratitude as we discount the blessings and favor that we have been shown by God Himself.  And truthfully, I can’t think of anyone less deserving than me.  God is good, right?

So, how do we overcome or at least fight the jealous beast within each of us?

  1. The next time you find yourself jealous of someone’s success or special favor, congratulate them.  Be the first to step out and say, “well done!”
  2. Embrace the idea that life isn’t fair.  It isn’t and offenses will come, but having said that, they are opportunities to disciple our inner nature and attempt “self-control.”
  3. Remember that God rewards faithfulness.  We used to remind folks to “bloom where you’re planted” – which is really another way of saying, remain steadfast and faithful.  God sees.

So, my hope is that the next time that you have a “Caitlyn Clark” person in your life, that you will be first in line to congratulate him or her and put to death that ugly monster that lives in all of us.  It will take God’s grace, and all the humility that you can muster, but you will stand tall in their eyes and your own.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature.

Colossians 3:5a

Dick Whitworth
Director of Operations, STAR 99.1

P.S. I would love to hear your thoughts!

How have you handled jealousy in your life? What lessons have you learned that you could share?

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8 Comments

  1. Susan on June 27, 2024 at 7:02 am

    Well said! Thank you!

    • Dick Whitworth on June 27, 2024 at 9:53 am

      Thanks, Susan. I appreciate your feedback.

      I wish I was beyond (or above) the “jealousy monster” that lives within, but it raises its head when I least expect it. It’s a journey, right?

      Thanks, again.

      Dick Whitworth

  2. Dawn on June 27, 2024 at 7:44 am

    Thank you for the simply said and timely blog post.

    • Dick Whitworth on June 27, 2024 at 9:58 am

      Thanks, Dawn.

      I am disappointed, but not surprised about the attacks on Caitlyn Clark, her success, etc. Having said that, I am grateful for God’s Holy Spirit reminder to me, that when it comes to jealousy, I have been as bad or worse. Ouch.

      I hope the post was helpful and I truly appreciate your feedback.

      Dick Whitworth

  3. Mike on June 27, 2024 at 9:46 am

    Nice post. Jealousy and its cousin, comparison, can do a lot of damage. May I add to pray for them as well as congratulate them.

    • Dick Whitworth on June 27, 2024 at 10:29 am

      Mike – thanks for the feedback and for your great addition to the post!

      Pray for them! WOW, shouldn’t that be first!? Sorry that I missed that one, but thanks for including that in your comments!

      Dick Whitworth

  4. Kristen on June 27, 2024 at 12:34 pm

    Such a great reflection! Thank you for sharing! It’s so important to be able to identify and name “the beast”.. in this case, jealousy, but there are so many others! Once we identify it, we need to allow ourselves to feel the feelings we have associated with it. Whether it’s anger, sadness, resentment, or whatever. Only then can we really begin to heal and move past it. Then, we can truly move into that space of gratitude for all our blessings. There is a time and a place for everything and we too will experience our moments of success. There is room for all of us to succeed in Christ. First comes awareness, then understanding, then action. Way easier said than done for sure! Thank you for this beautiful opportunity for faith sharing!

    • Dick Whitworth on June 28, 2024 at 9:40 am

      Good word, Kristen! Thank you for sharing and for your feedback.

      I am grateful for these words from you, “First comes awareness, then understanding, then action” So true!

      Have a great day and thank you again for your kind words

      Dick Whitworth

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