I have come across the topic of jealousy multiple times the last while and have been meditating on Bible passages that speak of it. The Old Testament talks often of the jealousy of God for His people’s devotion. On the other hand, in the New Testament Paul makes it clear that jealousy and discord have no place in the life of a believer or in the church.
You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? (1 Cor 3:3)
So many times I hear believers say “I’m only human.” While I understand the connotation, I am beginning to believe, like Paul, that it is wrong to live with this philosophy when we have the God of the universe, living inside us, wanting to empower and sanctify us to live differently.
Jealousy can rip apart a church or a family and separate the best of friends, making it one of the go to strategies of the enemy.
But jealousy doesn’t just hurt the person on the receiving end, it is often most destructive to the one who entertains it.
From what I understand from scripture, the only righteous jealousy is toward the relationship between Jesus and us, His bride. He is jealous for us, and we are to be jealous of a pure relationship with Him.
Never toward another person.
Funny how when I am praying about something with some one else, the Spirit of God often points that same thing out in my own life.
I confess, at times I allow insecurity to breed frustration and resentment when some one else succeeds in an area I have worked hard in and feel called to, but have seen little fruit.
Let’s call it like it is. If I am not celebrating fully from my heart, the success of another, I allow jealousy to incubate.
Jesus sets an example of what it looks like to be so secure in His identity and affection in the Father, that He desires His followers to surpass Him, knowing it will bring glory to the Father.
The only righteous jealousy causes rejoicing when some one comes alive in Jesus, and their gifts and calling are realized, bringing glory to God for what He has given them. Paul shows this in regards to the church he planted in Corinth:
For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ. (2 Cor 11:12)
I think the opposite spirit of jealousy is unselfish loyalty and unity that empowers. It is a beautiful thing when a group of people live this out. It is an impossible thing without walking in the empowering love and grace of Jesus.
“Jesus, please give me such a burning love for you that I passionately work to see others succeed in their calling, and celebrate when you are glorified in the lives of others! May I live a life that empowers and points steadfastly to your majesty and goodness.”