What is jealousy? How does it effect our lives, our demeanor, our attitudes, and our overall outlook toward others?
According to Webster’s New World College Dictionary jealous is defined as “very watchful or careful in guarding or keeping (jealous of one’s rights); resentfully suspicious of a rival or a rival’s influence (a husband jealous of other men); resentfully envious resulting from such feelings (a jealous rage). (Now rare) requiring exclusive loyalty (the Lord is a jealous God).
All of us at some time in our life are going to face the effects of being jealous or having someone feel jealous toward us. I have seen people throughout my lifetime that I often wondered how it would be to have some of the things they have, but I have always come back to the realization that I have more than I need as I have been thoroughly blessed by the Lord. Having all the material things that the world pushes on us does not make us rich. I have seen many times that most of the time the people with less seem to be happier than the people that have abundance.
I once had a young lady that worked with me, many years ago, that was very attractive, very outgoing and very smart. She seemed to have the perfect family. Her husband was good looking with an athletic build and their two children made it look as though they were the perfect family. She confided in me that she had a great family and marriage with exception of one thing. Her husband was extremely jealous, and on some occasions, this created problems. As this was over 40 years ago, I sometimes wonder how that marriage is today.
The Bible tells us in Genesis about Joseph and the jealous nature of his brothers against him. We are also told the story of Cain and Abel. This is in the first book of the Bible and there are more stories such as this all through it. Is being jealous or envious a sin? It can lead to sin if we dwell upon it.
Jealously and/or envy leads to many unpleasant emotions such as frustration, discontentment, which leads to anger. Proverbs 14:30 tells us; “A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones.” When we allow these type thoughts to control our thinking, we commit a sin because we put more importance and focus on self, disregarding others’ needs and interests.
There are so many examples of how jealous we become in our daily life. Being a jealous husband or wife can ruin a great marriage and break families apart. It is my belief that this type jealously happens because of lack of trust for your partner. This is something that should be talked out instead or argued about. Desiring things and items our friends, neighbors and others have should never happen. None of us are supposed to be on equal footing with everyone. Most of the time the people with less are much happier than the ones with the most because of less worry about worldly possessions.
One jealously we should be concerned with is that our God is a jealous God. Everyone needs to read Exodus 34:13-14 where it says that God renewed his covenant with His people and told them to tear down wooden images and worship only Him. God wants all His followers to deny themselves and worship only Him. All of us should be in awe of our God and do as He wants us to.
Thank you Lord for each day of life you give me. I pray that I will live it to your expectations, not mine. Amen.
Sunday – James 3:13-18
Monday – Proverbs 27:4
Tuesday – 1 Corinthians 13:4-6
Wednesday – Job 5:2
Thursday – Colossians 3:2
Friday – Exodus 20:17
Saturday – Mark 7:17-23