Christians and Non-Christians alike, have something very much in common these days, and that is the ugly green monsters named, Jealousy and his cousin Envy. Jealousy and Envy are two of the most dangerous enemies that we all have today. Jealousy and Envy destroy everyone and everything that they come into contact with, and will destroy any possibility of a relationship between people. Especially in these hard economic times, these two monsters seem to rear their ugly heads even more. Those of us that are having success in building what God has directed us to build, will be the recipients of peoples Jealousy and Envy and those that are still looking for God’s direction on their mission in life, or are having difficulties in their God given assignments will be those people that will be demonstrating their jealousy and envy towards us. Even those of the same faith will often times be the ones that are the most jealous and envious of people doing their God given callings. I experienced this the other day first hand, and when the monster reared its ugly head, I admit, I got a little angry at first, then all I began to feel was the compassion of God for my sister in the faith, and began praying for her.
In order to begin to understand these emotions and learn to deal with them, we first must understand their meanings and implications. Jealousy is a secondary emotion usually following some type of anger or resentment. Such is the case throughout the Bible where we are told that, “God was moved to jealousy”. Why was He moved to jealousy; because His beloved people had turn away from Him to follow other gods, and so, to provoke His people He then turned His attention to the Gentiles (Non-Jewish People) who were not a nation or a people to begin to lavish His love, and blessing upon (Deuteronomy 32:21). I don’t believe that jealousy is a horrible emotion, however, it can cause us to do horrible things if we don’t understand it, and begin to deal with what has provoked us to jealousy of another. God hated that his people had provoked him to jealousy and to anger, however, in the end it will produce what he desired which was to save his people by their jealousy.
Envy on the other hand is an incredibly dangerous emotion, and is a sin according to the Word of God. Envy’s roots are desire for something you don’t have but desperately want, or can be the result of our own low self-esteem. Either way, this is a deadly emotion with dire consequences. Envy has been the cause of many wars, and is the main cause of many criminal activities. Even Jesus knew that the reason that he was handed over was because of envy (Matthew 27:18, Mark 15:10) and we are told in Acts chapter 13:45, that the Jews were envious of the multitude that were following and listening to what Paul and Barnabas were preaching and teaching. When we desire something that another has, it will cause us Envy and to get into strife with what person, and the Bible tells us that where envy and strife are there is every evil work (James 3:16)
So please remember and acknowledge that whenever you begin to sense or feel these emotions in yourself or others, please consider where these ugly green monsters will take you and change your course of direction. If you are the recipient of someone’s Jealousy or Envy, please pray for them, and if you are experiencing these emotions, understand where they originate from and change your course of action. Jealousy can be a good thing if it provokes you into a right direction, and it can be a very dangerous and destruction emotion when channeled in the wrong direction. Envy is NEVER a good thing, and will produce unwanted consequences for your life, here and in the hereafter. So as the Bible says: I ask you this day, choose life or death, blessing or cursing, hint, CHOOSE LIFE (Deuteronomy 30:19).