Jealousy steals our joy and tears us apart from our fellow believers. Are you jealous of others? Do you know why? This post is all about the why's when it comes to jealousy.
Being a single, workaholic, introvert, I have suffered from jealousy. I say suffered because it hasn't been fun, in fact, it has been miserable. I feel jealousy is a heart condition and the bible has plenty to say about it.
Jealousy can tear believers apart
And quarreling arose between Abram’s herders and Lot’s. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time. So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. - Genesis 13:7-8 NIV
Now Lot, who was moving with Abram, also had flocks, herds, and tents. But the land couldn't support both Abram and Lot while they stayed together. Quarreling arose between Abram's herders and Lot's herders. The Canaanites and the Perizzites were also living in the land at that time. So Abram said to Lot. "Let us not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine."
My Life Application Bible had a note
Rivalries, arguments, and disagreements among believers can be destructive in 3 ways.
- They damage goodwill, trust, and peace - the foundation of good human relationships
- They hamper progress toward important goals.
- They make us self-centered rather than love-centered.
Jesus understood how destructive arguments could be. In his final prayer before hisarrested. Jesus asked God that his followers be "one" (John 17:21). Just as Jesus prayed for us to be one; we should strive to be "one" with fellow believers. We should not allow jealousy in, but standing together in love.
Why do people become Jealous?
1. People become jealous over people who seemed blessed by God
In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me - Luke 1:42-43 NIV
God gives each of us different blessings and challenges according to the plan he has for our lives. Elizabeth had been without child but finally conceived. Young Mary had been gifted with Jesus. Both of these women were happy for each other instead of being self-loving and jealous. We can learn from them and remember that both of these blessings had their own challenges.
2. People become jealous over others God-given gifts and abilities.
The parable goes; there was a landowner who went to find workers in the morning. He agreed to pay a day's wages and sent the workers to his vineyard. Later in the day while in town, he found more willing to work, so he sent them to his vineyard. This happened again close to the end of the day (a few hours left). At the end of the day, all the workers came to collect their pay. The landowner gave all the workers the same wage. Those who had worked all day because jealous. But the land owner said.
Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ - Matthew 20:15
God bestows on each of us gifts and abilities. He is generous, but sometimes we want him to be fair as he hands out gifts and abilities. Who are we to judge what is giving others or what is fair?
When God is dealing with our sin are we not glad that he is a generous and gracious God? I know I am! I wouldn't want him to treat me as my sin deserves.
Join me next week as I finish my study on jealousy and overcoming it through God's grace. This week I ask that you examine your heart, as I have. Be truthful with yourself and answer the question. Am I jealous? Who am I jealous of and why? Now pray that God will forgive you of your jealousy.