5 Ways to Overcome Jealousy and Health Envy from Diabetes

Health Envy Main Image. Woman sitting at the table with her head on her hand

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Chances are at some point you have been envious of what someone else has. Maybe it’s their new car, a vacation they took, or maybe the job that they have. For me it is less tangible … I sometimes struggle with health envy.

Health Envy: Does a Chronic Illness Make you Feel Jealous?

What Does Health Envy Look Like?

Shortly after my son’s diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, I became envious of other families who didn’t have to change their lives for a chronic illness. They had a freedom that I missed, a freedom I took for granted when I had it. It’s a complex emotion because I don’t want them to have the negative experiences that come with diabetes too. I am glad they are in good health and don’t have to deal with that in their daily life. But I wanted what I had before diabetes back.

These parents can take their kids to birthday parties without worries of the food being served and how it might affect them. They could take their kids to play dates and not worry about their child’s physical health and if they would have a low blood sugar. The list of the things that made me an envious person goes on and on. 

Our Last Trip Before Diagnosis

My husband and I had just reached the season in which both of our children were old enough for overnights with grandparents. Our older child was 6 years old and just entering kindergarten, and our youngest was 3. A weekend away was in our grasp, and we couldn’t wait to head to the Lake of the Ozarks to relax and reconnect.

It was during this first trip away when my son started showing some abnormal symptoms. I was suspicious before we left. Although he was potty trained, he had been soaking through his pull ups at nap time and overnight. He was complaining during the day of needing to go to the bathroom quite often, but it was summer so I assumed it was because he was drinking more water.

Even though I was uneasy about leaving him, I trusted my mom to keep an eye on him and let me know if anything changed. Little did I know it would be the first and last trip away from our children for a really long time.

Health Envy Quote 1

Health Envy Started with a Diagnosis

After a sleepless night for my mom she called the next day to say that he seemed abnormally tired and still asking to go to the bathroom a lot. My husband and I decided to come home early. We called his pediatrician right away. He wanted to see him first thing in the morning to be checked out.

My intuition kicked in because I was educated in college about diabetes. So I prepared myself for the news no mom ever wants to hear. “Your child has a chronic illness.”

That following day, my son was diagnosed with type 1 and we were thrust into the world of diabetes. We were admitted to the hospital right away, and every waking minute revolved around learning how to care for him.

This included classes to learn how to count carbs, take blood glucose readings, and give insulin shots. This involved a lot of math. Luckily for me, Siri came in handy when figuring out 1/2 units per carbohydrate. My mind was swirling, all the while worried about how this was affecting my little boy. 


After a couple weeks at home, we settled into our new routine. This new way of everyday life was soon interrupted with me going back to work. I didn’t want to go back, and I didn’t know how I could trust anyone but my husband and I to take care of him. I barely trusted myself. How could I trust others?

The preschool he was enrolled in had no experience caring for a diabetic student. A patient of mine who also had a son with diabetes was nice enough to help me teach the preschool all they needed to know. With lots of tears and reluctance, I took that first step and returned to work. Thankfully, the preschool was amazing and kept in constant contact with me. Day by day my confidence strengthened.

A lot of time has passed since those early years, and my son is now 10 years old. My husband and I now go on date nights and leave him with his older sister. He does ask me a lot if he can spend the night with buddies, and I just can’t bring myself to allow that yet. On the rare occasion he needs me in the middle of the night, I just don’t know how we could make that work. To put that on another parent is incomprehensible to me. 

Health Envy Quote 2

When Health Envy Sets In

I tell you all of this because I’m sometimes envy others in families who don’t have to deal with these struggles. This is health envy in the rawest form. I’m also sad for my son who sometimes has missed out on things because of my insecurities. Someday I know when he is completely responsible for himself I can take that week-long vacation. But, until then, I covet. These negative feelings of jealousy come and go, but they rear their ugly heads when other kids go to an all day camp, or an overnight with friends. 

Feelings of Health Envy are not from God

These negative emotions and feelings of envy are not from God, and it can quickly take over. My mind can wander to all the extra I deal with that others don’t, instead of resting in God’s provision and timing. If I am seeking God in all things, the extra I feel helps me to remember I cannot do everything in my own strength. For this I am thankful. A reminder to lean on the Lord is something we all need from time to time. 

Health Envy Quote 3


When I struggle with health envy and I am seeking wisdom, I turn to Proverbs. Paul gives us a profound statement about what envy of others can do to our bodies. 

A heart at peace gives life to the body,
    but envy rots the bones.

Proverbs 14:30

Well, this verse gets right to the point! Jealousy is like a cancer, if envious people dwell on what someone else has it will eat away at them. The truth is that everyone suffers with something, no matter what their social media account says. 

Similarly, in the book of James we see that the root of envy is a heart disorder. 

But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

James 3:14-16


When I am looking at someone else with health envy, my heart is in disorder. My affection should first be on Christ and all the blessings we do have. We have amazing technology with a CGM and a smart pump, the best doctors, other diabetic friends, and a great school nurse. 

Health Envy Quote 4

I must remind myself that what my spirit needs is more important then what my eyes see. I must confess this sin of envy and cover it in truth. The truth is that God knows what is best, and He places things in our lives at the right time.

For instance, we had just found a new church after moving 6 months prior to the diagnosis, and low and behold, I met a veteran type 1 diabetic. She is now one of my best friends. She was placed in my life at just the right time — when I needed someone to understand exactly what my son was going through. (And I in hers for the very same reason.) Having a chronic disease can be lonely, and God knows how to comfort us best. 

Have you ever looked at other peoples’ lives and wished you had what they had? Does that feeling of inferiority cause you to have low self-esteem?

Do you linger in those thoughts or do you thank God for His provision?

In what ways can you reorder your heart in a healthy way when it places desires over the rightful place of our Lord? 



It’s been mentioned in the Prayer for Diabetes devotion, the post about How We Talk About Diabetes, and others here. But we keep coming back to it because prayer needs to play an important role in our lives. The things we think and speak come from our heart, so it’s important to align ourselves with God in prayer each day.


Having a thankful heart is mentioned in Day 9 of the Devotions on Diabetes book. Sometimes the hard struggles of having a chronic illness can make you blind to positive things. It’s therapeutic to consider the things you are thankful for. Write them in a journal, or put them on slips of paper in a jar to read at the end of the year. Life can be challenging, but it is also full of good fortune. Thanking God for the good can have a powerful effect on our thoughts.

Writing Scripture. Pictured: coffee and a person writing in a journal


This one isn’t rocket science, friend. Social media, while it can have its advantages here and there, can be a breeding ground for people to experience jealousy and envy. Perhaps it should be called social comparison media. Seeing everyone’s picture perfect family images and the mom who looks like she has it all together in all her social media posts can make you feel sub par. And friend, you are not sub par! (In case you struggle with this, download this free Bible reading plan.) So perhaps the use of social media could be minimized in your day. Or maybe a social media fast is in order.


One of the main reasons this blog exists is to reach people with diabetes, point them to Jesus, and let them know they are not alone. While diabetes can be isolating, it’s important to know there are others fighting this fight right alongside you. Social support is absolutely key. Reach out to those family members who understand, call the good friend who is a good listener, and get in touch with others in the diabetes community. (And stay tuned for an exciting announcement about an amazing diabetic community to come very soon!)


This is something in almost every devotion on this website. Spending time reading God’s word is how we hear from Him. It encourages us. This is our reminder that we were created on purpose and for a purpose. And it confirms God’s everlasting love for us. There is just no substitute for scripture, so be in it each and every day. (And if you don’t know where to start, that’s ok! Check out our reading plan section.)

Reading the bible with a cup of coffee

The Lord Can Heal Health Envy

This is certainly not an exhaustive list, and none of this is professional help, in case you are in need of that. But having some go to ideas will help you when you’re caught up in envious feelings. The Lord knows exactly how we are feeling, and that brings me comfort. What we think we are lacking, He provides in abundance. 

Dear Heavenly Father, I confess that sometimes I envy what others have, especially in the area of health. I confess that when I covet what the world deems important, I am taking You off the throne of my heart. Please redirect me and my thoughts, and fill me with Your wisdom so I can focus on what is most important. Amen. 

DID You Enjoy This Devotion?

If you enjoyed this devotion, would you please let me know? I would love to hear from you! And please share it with a friend who could use some encouragement as well.

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Health Envy: Does a Chronic Illness Make you Feel Jealous?


stack of top ten books for diabetes management
8 Warning Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes
How Do You Talk About Diabetes?
Looking for more devotions? Devotions on Diabetes: A 30-Day Journey to Anchor Your Soul is on Amazon

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Kaycee - Devotions on Diabetes


Welcome to my Devotions on Diabetes website! Thanks for stopping by. I've lived with diabetes for 30+ years. And I'm here to provide you with a heaping helping of encouragement while you deal with diabetes and navigate this chronic illness with God by your side.

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Devotions on Diabetes: A 30-Day Journey to Anchor Your Soul is now available on Amazon.

Devotions on Diabetes: A 30-Day Journey to Anchor Your Soul by Kaycee Parker




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