Wherever there is evil, there is jealousy. Jealousy can be a mild feeling of sadness when we see others succeed, or possess something we desire to have, or jealousy can be as grave as murder, anger, revenge, cursing, gossiping, competition, quarrelling, bitterness, malice, enmity etc. Jealousy is like temptation, which we all face now and then. Just like we need to resist temptation, we also need to resist jealousy. Giving into temptation or jealousy is sin.
We can easily detect jealousy in the eyes of other people, but seldom recognise it within ourselves. Even when we sense jealousy within us, we try to ignore it or assume it is just harmless and do nothing about it. Jealousy is a demonic spirit and it does not go away by ignoring it, just like the devil will not go away if we ignore him but will do so only if we resist it. It will leave when we fight back. When the devil tempted Jesus, he did not do kick boxing with the devil but opened His mouth and said “it is written”. Jesus fought the devil with the word of God. We too need to fight it with God’s word.
When the devil arouses jealousy in your heart towards others, refuse to give into it. Jealousy arises in us because of our lack of love for others. God wants us to “rejoice with those that rejoice” (Romans 12:15). When we are unable to genuinely rejoice with others, it is an indication that we don’t have enough love for others. When the disciples asked Jesus what is the greatest commandment in the law, Jesus replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40)
Jealousy is a result of unmet needs, lack of trust in God, lack of love for others, insecurity, constantly comparing ourselves and our status with others, competitive spirit etc. Just like a thermometer measures the temperature of our body and lets us know if we have a fever and if our life is in danger; jealousy is an indicator of our lack of love for others and if we are a danger to ourselves and to others. Cain murdered his brother Abel out of jealousy. Leah and Rachel were jealous of each other. Joseph’s brother were jealous of him and sold him into slavery. Saul was jealous of David and tried to kill him. The Pharisees and the Scribes were jealous of Jesus and plotted to kill him. Many are jealous of you and likewise you may feel jealous of others. If you don’t overcome jealousy, it will devour you.
When others are jealous of you, all you got to do is forgive them, bless them and ask for God’s protection over your life, and moreover as much as possible try not to make anyone jealous of you. “Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?” (Proverbs 27:4). It is not a wise think to stir up jealousy in others on purpose. It is a most wicked thing to do. Knowing that someone will be bitter and to deliberately cause people to be jealous, is like being an assistant to the devil. “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”(Matthew 8:16)
If you have caused others to be jealous, know that the Lord is always merciful and gracious to forgive you. The Lord corrects all those He loves and we have His grace always available to us when we fall. To overcome jealousy completely we need to re-new our minds. Jealousy arises primarily when we compare ourselves or our talents and possessions with others. When we compare, we judge if we are better than others. The truth is, you are unique, and so are your gifts, your blessings and your circumstances. There is no one like you with the same blessings, gifts and circumstances. When we compare we create a deception that we are not good enough.
“You desire but do not have, so you kill. You envy but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (James 4: 2-3) We are all different parts of the same body, we all have a different role to play. So if we are jealous of the gifts of others, we will never appreciate our own gifts and never accomplish our own destiny, because jealousy will stop us for being what God created us to be; because jealousy pollutes our hearts and makes us evil. On the other hand love is not jealous. When we walk in love, we walk in victory. We achieve what God has created us to be and help others accomplish their destiny, because love is not threatened with the success of others, but is happy and rejoices with others.
In life there will always be someone that will be more talented, better-looking, wealthier, more influential and more successful than we are. It is not God’s will for us to go around comparing ourselves and be jealous of others; or be proud that we are better than others, but rather to fulfil God’s will for our lives by using the gifts God has given us and by fulfilling our destiny which only we can do. “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but jealousy is the rottenness of the bones.” (Proverb 14:30) Make peace with yourself and thank God for what He has blessed you with, and be happy for yourself and happy for others when they excel, and become who God created them to be.
When you see others blessed, rejoice with them and trust in God, knowing that He will not hold anything from you that is good for you. God is able to give you exceedingly and abundantly more than what you can hope for.
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