What do you think of when you think of the word Jealousy?
If we are honest we do look at what other people have whether that is skills or possessions and we sometimes cast a jealous eye toward them. You see their car or house and you wish that you could have that instead of what you have. You see their athletic or academic ability and you wish you could be more or better than them.
Jealousy is an unhappy or angry feeling of wanting to have what someone else has
Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy,[d] drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Look at the list and what is mentioned with jealousy are things we should be appalled at and so we need to take the jealousy in our lives seriously because God does. Just like Saul tried to spear David and destroy him, our jealousy will cast a spear and destroy our relationships with others.
There are several things that cause people to throw the spear of jealousy at each other.
1) The Spear of Accomplishment
“Saul has killed his thousands but David his tens of thousands”
Saul was a great warrior but he did not like that David was receiving more praise than him. “Saul Eyed David” which means secret and uncontrollable hatred. If we are honest we sometimes look at someone with hatred not because of anything they have done to us but because of what they can do.
It was the custom after a victory of war for the troops, along with the king, to march through the different cities and the towns to show that they had victory over their enemy. One of the traditions was that the women would come out and praise the fighters and make up songs to sing to them usually pertaining to the battle they just won. The song they sang was showing that David was a greater fighter than Saul and instead of being proud of picking David as a leader in his army he began to hate David for getting praise that he was not getting.
The first spear that drives a wedge between people is accomplishment and we are more likely to be jealous of people who are similar or in the same field of work as us. Its not Bill Gates or Steven Spielberg that we are Jealous of because we are not movie producers or computer developers. The people we get jealous of is the coworker or teammate who gets that promotion or starting spot ahead of us.
How do you react when your friend makes the team but you do not?
How do you react when someone gets the promotion that you wanted?
Saul literally tried to destroy David by throwing a spear at him. We do not throw physical spears but with our mouths we destroy people by saying untrue things about them to try and tarnish peoples view of them.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
What we say has the power to kill someone’s reputation or even their own motivation for continuing in whatever activity your involved in. In the story David did not pick the spear back up and hurl it back at Saul. Just because someone stoops to a level of throwing spears does not mean we have to act like them to try and get even.
2) The Spear of Paranoia
“What more can he have but the kingdom”
Saul now starts thinking things that are not true and Philippians 4:8 tells us we should only think about what is true. Saul had a corrupt mind and he thought David thought like him. If you have ever been around a liar they think everyone else is lying. If you have ever been around a cheater, they think everyone else is a cheater. Jealous people have distorted views of others because their hearts are evil.
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. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
Notice in the book of James that jealousy is not part of having Godly wisdom but it comes from demonic sources. If you have you ever caught yourself saying “ I bet they are thinking this or that”, then you need to guard your mind because you could be thinking of things that are not true. Those untrue things will drive a spear between the relationships in your life. It will lead to faulty thinking about people which will lead us not to believe the best about them and even what their intentions are which we can never know.
If you do have a problem with someone or if there is something you think is an issue the Bible is clear we are to go to them directly to handle it. Matthew 18 is clear that we should talk to them and by doing this you will keep the spear of paranoia from growing in your life.
3) The Spear of Fear
“Saul was afraid of David”
Out of fear Saul now removes David from his presence. The jealousy of Saul did not make David fearful but only Saul. Your jealousy toward someone does not ruin their day it ruins yours and it causes you to remove them from your life. The relationship is broken down even further because now you are trying to remove the relationship totally from your life which will not fix the problem you have. We are the same way because who we are jealous over because we see pictures or hear stories of their success and it only drives us crazy.
Saul thought that if he got David out of his sight it would help relieve his fears but that did not keep him from thinking of David. Saul sent him out to battle maybe hoping he would be killed but instead David became even greater with the victories God gave him.
Don’t you hate it when the person you hate has success? David was loved by everyone and it drove Saul even crazier than before because David continued in his success and gained admiration as a leader and warrior. Jealousy will consume you because the person will always pop up in your mind no matter how far you or they move away. Never think moving locations is going to solve all of your problems because you cannot erase your memory and there will always be someone else who will either cause the same problems for you or remind you of the one you are trying to escape from.
4) The Spear of Relationships
Jealousy does more than drive a wedge between two people it destroys many other relationships. Jealousy is toxic, the Bible calls it demonic, and if you study the life of David and Saul you will see Saul goes on a destructive rampage because of his jealousy over David. David was not the only one who suffered in fact 85 priest would later be killed because of Saul’s Jealousy and because one priest helped David. (1 Samuel 22)
Because of Saul Jonathan and David could no longer be friends. Many of us know two people we cannot hang around anymore because they do not like each other and it puts a strain on everyone else.
If you continue reading in 1 Samuel 18 you will see that Saul promises David his daughter Merab but in the last minute he marries her to someone else. Later Saul offers his daughter Michal to David but only to try and keep an eye on him. Jealous people use their families to destroy the lives of others but only wind up hurting their own family.
Destroys trust in God
When you are jealous over what someone else has then you are basically saying to God that He has not taken care of you. Saul had a lot of reasons to be Jealous of David because David was good looking, a fearless warrior, a musician that could sing,write and play songs. Saul did not look at the things that God gave him instead looked at what David had.
When you are jealous of others you are telling God that He did not do a good job at being God.
1 Samuel 13:13 says that God would have had Saul lead Israel forever. Saul got impatient and did not trust in God and His plan. Saul disqualified himself from being King because of the actions he took. He could have accepted his punishment and made it easier on David instead he did everything he could to keep David from getting his throne.
When you study the life of David God did not allow him to build the temple because he shed too much blood. But that did not stop David from doing all he could to help Solomon build it. (1 Chronicles 28:3) David’s life was a life that was completely trusting in God and Saul could see that his life was not.
How do you defeat Jealousy?
1) Be thankful for others success
Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Your first thought might be that you do not want to be fake or lie to them by rejoicing with them but the verse does not say if you feel like rejoicing. You should always be happy for the person and the plan that God has for them because you trust God with your own life.
Jealousy is dangerous because it affects our attitude toward other people. You cannot truly love someone who you are jealous of because sometimes they are a reminder of who you are not. The people you are jealous of are not the problem they are just reflecting back what is in your heart. We tend to blame the other person but the reality is God is using them to draw out or show you that you have a heart problem.
You congratulate the person not because you feel like it but because you are being obedient. You congratulate them and then you try to figure out why you are jealous of them and allow God to work on your heart so you do not become a Saul.
2) Be Thankful for the gifts God has given you
What does God owe you? He died on the cross for your sins and provided an eternal home with Himself that promises to be more than this world can ever offer, so why do we think God owes us?
You may need to start your battle with Jealousy by offering an apology to God for not being thankful for what you do have. You need to bring God into the picture because jealousy has shifted your focus from Him to yourself. In Matthew 25 the man given one talent thought that he was insignificant to the Kingdom Work of the master and he did not do anything with what he was given. In the end he was banished from the Kingdom forever because he did not do anything with what he was given.
Jealousy is about rivalry instead of companions because you see the other person as a threat instead of a teammate. There are no second stringers in the family of God, everyone has a role to play and it is important that you do what you have been gifted and called to do for the glory of God.
God has a plan for you but that does not mean that the plan is about you
In our American culture we think God is supposed to do all these things for us but the reality is that He has already given us so much. We need to stop thinking that we deserve more or that following Christ is about me instead of the work He has given me to do. Closely related to Jealousy is Envy
“Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.” Harold Coffin
The old hymn is correct in saying that we are to count our blessings. Look at what your spouse does do right and is good at instead of all the negative things they do. Look at how God designed your kids instead of being mad they are not the athlete, musician, academic genius you think they should be. We have to stop trying to fit into the worlds mold and look at how God designed and wants to use us.
Psalm75:6-7 For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up, 7 but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another.
Can you trust in God when He lifts one person up yet you seem to be going down?
God’s plans are perfect and when you see others as a threat then you will not love them like you are supposed to. Gods plans are perfect but if you are busy focusing on what you don’t have instead of what you do have you will become ungrateful. Do you need to count your blessings today? Do you need to apologize to God because it seems that others have more talent, more stuff and more blessings than you have?