Throughout Scripture we are told to stay away from jealousy.
- For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. – James 3:16
- Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. – Galatians 5:19-21
- For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? – 1 Corinthians 3:3
- Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. – Romans 13:13-14
Yet, we are told that God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5), not to provoke God to jealousy (1 Corinthians 10:22). Exodus 34:14 tells us that God’s name is Jealous. So how do we reconcile these things? Surely this is not the case of “do as I say and not as I do.”
Well, the other day I was meeting with a group of brothers and sisters and I shared with them a idea I had come to about this “problem.” The conclusion I have drawn is that jealousy is not a bad thing, in and of itself. The problem is the use of jealousy. You see, we as mere human beings deserve nothing – therefore we have nothing to be jealous of. Now God, he deserves everything,
but he does not get what he deserves. In fact, we go so far as to give to other idols/people/items, that which God deserves.
So, I have concluded that there are two misuses of jealousy. First, we are sinning when we are jealous. Second, we are sinning when God is jealous.
As I shared my ideas some other people chimed in with other things this could apply to, such as pride or anger. Are there any other things this might apply to?