Our world today is corrupted by the greed of evil desires. Instead of loving; they hate. Celebrating a friend’s success has also become a thorn in the flesh for others. It is time every human pay attention to what the Bible says about jealousy
Have you felt jealous of someone before? I believe about 99.9% of my readers will admit to being jealous at some point in their lives. Could I be an exception? I don’t think so. It’s a human feeling just like hatred, anger, etc, But hey, this thing has no place in my heart. It is a wrongful desire that grieves the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, all these feelings are negative emotions that could cause a lot of damage. What does the Bible say about jealousy? Is it a sin? It’s time to figure it out.
Before we seek answers and directions from the Bible, let’s catch a quick understanding of the true meaning of jealousy.
The Collins Dictionary defines jealousy as:
“The feeling of anger or bitterness which someone has when they think that another person is trying to take a lover or friend, or a possession, away from them.
In simple words, I will say it’s about unhealthy rivalship. Kill any feeling of hate, envy, jealousy, etc before it destroys you.
I believe after reading this post about the Biblical teachings concerning jealousy, you would exercise absolute self-control to wade off such kinds of desires and be a pleasing aroma for the Lord. Remember, the love and the genuine friendship that existed between Jonathan and David and replicate it.
Where Did Jealousy begin in the Bible?
Jealousy began when Satan, the author of confusion hid iniquities in his heart and prided himself worthy of more glory than his Creator.
In the Book of Genesis, Satan who is also known as Lucifer lured humans to rival God by sinning. This is where we can trace the beginning of jealousy among humankind. It happened in the garden of Eden.
This negative feeling has been with us since the day mankind disobeyed God. It has never stopped. But as individuals in Christ Jesus, we can stop it by adhering to what the Bible teaches us.
The God who created heaven and earth has declared on several occasions that he is a jealous God. (Exodus 20:5, Deuteronomy 4:24, Joshua 24:19, etc,) Oh yeah, God is jealous; if we exchange his glory for mere human authority and idols he will deal with us righteously. Such ungratefulness attracts punishment.
Anything that sparks jealousy within your heart should be expelled before it wreaks havoc on you.
Jealousy In Human Relationship In Question
As humans, we have the natural feeling to express our desires or act on them. The desires could be godly or ungodly.
Those who congratulate you on your graduation day, wedding day, birthday, and celebrate your success could also be the same people who chant for your destruction. Why?
Rivalship is rooted in the spiritual realm. This is the more reason why the Bible says in Galatians 5:16 that we should walk in the spirit and bear fruit of the Spirit.
In verse 17, it has stated emphatically how the fleshy desires create rivalry against the Spirit.
“For the flesh has desires that are opposed to the Spirit, and the Spirit has desires that are opposed to the flesh, for these are in opposition to each other, so that you cannot do what you want.” — Galatians 5:17
If anyone walks in the flesh, the desires such as ‘JEALOUSY’ would be produced at all times.
Humans are social beings. We live in different social classes. We can never be equal in terms of knowledge, wisdom, financial status, appearance, etc,
This difference, if one fails to perceive with divine wisdom would develop hatred against his neighbor. The temptation to hate, destroy, kill, etc, becomes very high.
Bear in mind that the devil is always looking for people who are not God-fearing as tools of destruction. Be careful so that you don’t end up harboring hatred or jealousy in your heart.
The next step would be about all the evil schemes to destroy an innocent soul. This is a kind of behavior that always surfaces in our various institutions. Eg, in schools, workplaces, governments and even in churches.
Human behavior, when becomes corrupted by jealousy gives birth to a malicious attitude: instead of love; he hates, instead of praise; he criticizes, demoralizes, etc,
“Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, being jealous of one another.” (Galatians 5:26)
In extreme cases, people whose jealous behavior gets out of hand sin to the extent of killing a fellow like Cain who killed his brother Abel!
Understanding Kids And Their Jealous Attitudes
Let me develop this a little further by tackling it from how it happens in people’s childhood days.
Do Children also get jealous? Yes, kids often get jealous more than adults. Children love to own a lot of beautiful things. If their parents are unable to provide, they become envious of their friends. Some might steal to satisfy that envious desire by any means necessary.
Why does this even happen? Sometimes the problem of jealousy is hereditary; an inherent character. It is coded in the genes of some children. In generic terms, since we were all born sinners, that weakness is common to us all. It’s a human weakness.
This stage is a crucial moment for parents to take their children through the Bible and how it talks against jealousy, hatred and all malicious acts.
The Bible talks a lot about how to train children and turn them into responsible adults who would be God-fearing, hard-working and loving.
What Brings Jealousy? Is It A Sin?
What makes people jealous? Some of the things that make people jealous are motivated by money or the evil desire to possess material wealth. This often happens because one becomes envious of his friend.
Some Jealousy Examples In The Bible
By understanding what the Bible says about jealousy, it is important to know about some of the stories of Bible characters who became jealous of their brethren and how it ended them.
Their stories would teach Christians living today valuable lessons about the dangers of jealousy. It is not something to be taken lightly.
Someone might ask to know if jealousy is a sin? Yes, jealousy is a sin because it is part of the fruit of the flesh that corrupts the soul.
• The Story Of Cain And Abel
In the Book of Genesis chapter 4, the Bible tells us about the story of Cain and Abel. The first murderer in human history according to the scriptures came about because of jealousy, anger or hatred.
“Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why is your expression downcast? Is it not true that if you do what is right, you will be fine? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. It desires to dominate you, but you must subdue it.” (Genesis 4:6 – 7)
“Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.” (Genesis 4:8)
The results of Cain’s envious attitude forced him to kill his own brother. This is the exact thing happening in our world today.
Some lazy guys will stay in their comfort zone calculating and evaluating the progress of others. These guys would also give ill-treatment to their fellow brothers who are doing their best to please God and achieve something better through hard work.
God first warned Cain and later on cursed him for shedding his brother’s blood because of jealousy. God is still sending warnings to people who plot evil against others without any cause.
• Joseph And His Brothers
Here is another popular Biblical story about jealousy that teaches Christians not to try to thwart God’s plans for those who are obedient to Him. We can find this in Genesis 37:18 – 30.
He blessed Joseph, then his elder brothers became jealous of him. In an attempt to destroy his future —they sold him out into slavery.
In the end, it turned out to be a blessing for young innocent Joseph. Reuben, the eldest son who took part in Joseph’s jealousy had the consequences: His tribe was never numerous or became powerful in Israel.
These brothers became ashamed. They slept in their own vomits like dogs. However, Joseph had compassion for them and treated them with love.
There are several other examples of jealous people recorded in the Bible. We can think of Saul being jealous of David because he killed 10,000 compared to his 1,000’s (David killed Goliath). David’s anointing and favor from God appalled and scared Saul.
David on the other hand also became jealous of the wife of Uriah the Hittite. He committed adultery and murdered Uriah. (2 Samuel 11)
If we take into account all these events. Anyone who became jealous of a friend, brother, stranger, etc, faced the consequences and repercussions.
How dare anyone living today thinks he can escape God’s rod of Justice. Remember, what God said about jealousy or covetousness in the 10 commandments. It reappears in several other verses.
God wants everyone to be content with the little he has today. If you haven’t been able to reach the level of someone or had the qualities of a friend, why would you envy him?
These evil thoughts or behavior attract the Lord’s anger. In the New Testament, the Bible reads:
• “Your conduct must be free from the love of money and you must be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you and I will never abandon you.” — Hebrews 13:5
• “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content in any circumstance.” —Philippians 4:11
Contentment in the Lord is very essential in the life of every good Christian. Being jealous of a friend’s life, achievements, and qualities makes you a slave to the devil. It is a sin that must be eschewed!
Once you make a strong decision to live by the Spirit, you should stay away from any act of covetousness. Some of the early disciples of Jesus Christ also struggled with the sin of jealousy.
The Book of James condemned those disciples who were burning with fleshly passion and pride:
“Where do the conflicts and where do the quarrels among you come from? Is it not from this, from your passions that battle inside you? You desire and you do not have; you murder and envy and you cannot obtain; you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask.” — James 4:1 – 2
The tendency to be envious or for someone to envy is very high in the various places we find ourselves. It takes the Spirit of God to help us overcome such wrongful desires.
Develop a contrite heart like King David and ask for forgiveness. Ask God to help you drive away such kinds of evil desires from your heart.
In our relationships, marriages, job places, churches, businesses, etc, a rivalry is very common. This stirs up hate, quarrel, fight, bitterness, backbiting, etc,
May we, therefore, pray for the Holy Spirit to give us a heart of love and contentment so that we do not fall prey into the hands of the devil.
Love surpasses everything. Despite our differences in races, beliefs, ideologies, cultures, financial statuses, etc, love breaks the chains of all evil desires. And never forget that God is love. He who does not love —does not know God!
Can you recount any day you found someone being jealous of you? Have you been feeling jealous of someone? You can share your experience with me.