When was the last time you got really jealous? Maybe your younger sibling got married before you. Maybe your best friend bought a house you could never afford. Maybe your coworker got the promotion you wanted. According to Proverbs 27:4, “Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?”
Jealousy is a conflict that begins in our hearts. If we don’t tackle it head on, it can seep into our relationships and cause unnecessary drama.
Jealousy and bitterness lead us to make foolish choices and create strife in our relationships.That’s why it’s important to have friends who will be honest with us and call us out for our actions. “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses,” (Proverbs 27:6). A true friend tells you how it is, but with gentleness. This challenges us and helps us to grow.
So how do we become the friend that challenges others?
Dealing with conflict starts with listening. If we listen before we answer, we may find a deeper root to the issue and be able to provide the kind of earnest counsel that brings joy to our friends’ hearts (Proverbs 27:9). A true friend also wants what is best for us. As iron sharpens iron, a good friend sharpens us and makes us better — even if it’s uncomfortable or could create conflict (Proverbs 27:17).
If we choose wisdom over jealousy and drama, our relationships will grow, and conflict will only make us stronger. So let’s choose to deal with conflict in a way that glorifies God and grows us toward one another.
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