JEALOUSY IN THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD
STOP!!!!... being jealous of others who have been promoted or exalted by God. Wait for your turn. Sometimes we see the end result of a person's success. But many times we do not know what that person went through, the hardships, the afflictions, the lack, the broken heart...to get to where they are today.
Jealousy is feeling resentment against someone because of that person's rivalry, success, or advantages.
James 3:14-16 “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambitions exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.”
Jealousy breeds bad feelings and unhealthy group dynamics. Because one feels entitled to something someone else possesses, it leads to acting out. Jealousy can also lead to lies, trying to give impressions to compensate or inspire that feeling in others, furthering the sin. By contrast, wisdom that comes from the Holy Spirit drives out feelings like jealousy.
Proverbs 14:30 “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.”
The first murder committed was motivated by jealousy. In Genesis 4:1-16, Cain’s sacrifice to God was not acceptable, where his brother Abel’s was. God clarifies to Cain that he did not give his first and his best to God, and his motivations were not correct. Rather than changing his attitude and giving his best to God, Cain embraced his jealousy, and murdered his brother.
Joseph's 10 older brothers were jealous of him.
Generations after Cain, jealousy continued to drive wicked intentions. Jacob had twelve sons from four different women, but only two were from his favorite wife Rachel. Jacob gave one of those sons, Joseph, a special coat, which began inspiring jealousy in his older sons. Joseph would go on to give a bad report of his brothers to Jacob, and would also have prophetic dreams of his brothers bowing to him. Eventually his brothers beat him and sold him into slavery. This story is recounted in Genesis 37.
Saul was jealous of David.
Much of 1 Samuel 15-31 recounts the interactions between King Saul, and the future king - the young David. Though Saul had been a good king at first, he began to disobey God, and the Lord had the prophet Samuel anoint David. As time progressed, Saul became bitter over the love others had towards the shepherd boy, and tried to kill him on several occasions. By contrast, Saul’s son Jonathan - who human logic would say should be jealous that David would become king and not himself - loved David, and they were close friends.
Jealousy is an easy sin to slip into. It is easy to look around at what others have, or perhaps what one does not have, and feel that things ought to be different. Sometimes what someone is jealous for may be something they feel they deserve, like a prize, recognition for hard work, or better circumstances.
The Bible regularly warns of the dangers of feeling this way; instead, a lifestyle of contentment is encouraged, which is defined as, “satisfaction; ease of mind.” Finding peace and acceptance in what God has given leads to a deeper relationship with the Lord, because the individual is not looking towards something to fill an unfulfilled desire, but is fulfilled by that relationship
Philippians 4:11 “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”
1 Timothy 6:6-8 “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.”
Hebrews 13:5 “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have for [the Lord Jesus] has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”
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The Year of The Woman