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Jealousy & the Believer - Recognizing It When It Shows Up

Updated on July 14, 2018
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Leslie Shields has a doctorate in Christian Education and Evangelism. Her heart is to help others apply the Word of God to everyday living.

You Can Run, But You Can't Hide.....

Galatians 5:19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

The Bible tells us that 'jealousy' is a work of the flesh. When the Bible talks of the 'works of the flesh' it is referring to the actions of our unrefined nature. You know, the part of us that would like to forget all about your manners and your home training. It is essentially our selfish and self-serving lower nature.

Satanism has a phrase they use to give liberty to this lower nature and that is, "Do What Thou Wilt". In the Hippy Era of the 60's and 70's, the common phrase was, "If it feels good, do it".

And in the church today the justification for this hidden monster is, "I just had to get it off me, the Lord knows my heart."

This Means You!

Now, the works of the flesh, and specifically the work of jealousy is not limited to any unique group or type of people. Men, women, boys and girls of all creeds, races and persuasion are subject to operate in the "flesh". Saved or unsaved, Gentile or Jew, nice or nasty everyone can operate in the works of the flesh.

Since we all have 'flesh', we all operate in the works of the flesh.... get it.... flesh, works of the flesh. The list of behaviors outlined as being the works of the flesh operate automatically because they are a part of our .....'flesh'.

Even though the the Blood of Jesus delivers us from bondage to these works by giving us a new heart and the fruit of the spirit, it (the blood of Jesus), does not make the choice as to whether we will or will not operate in these works

And, here we see the problem for the Believer. Jealousy doesn't just cease to exist because we are born-again. In fact it is likely to become a greater issue BECAUSE we are born-again.

Not Just Jealous Over Men and Women but Jealous Over Everything!!!

Exodus 20:17
17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's. (KJV)

Often when we think of jealousy, we think of it as it relates to male and female relationships. But, jealousy extends beyond the love relationship. Jealousy rears its ugly head between friends, between brothers, between sisters and more. Jealousy has smoldered and erupted because of hair texture, skin color, muscle size, height and a million other reasons.

Jealousy begins with covetousness, wanting what someone else has Houses, cars, positions and abilities... like an unwanted disease, jealousy does not discriminate. It is a monster that can erupt from any situation.

There Are Steps to Jealousy - Jealousy Doesn't Start Off in High Gear...

Webster says that jealousy is being hostile. But, being hostile implies action. Jealousy doesn't begin with an action.... jealousy begins with a feeling....

Step #1 - The Feeling

The feeling of jealousy is subtle. At first you may not recognize it for what it is, That is why it is important to have a close relationship with God. If you are open, God will expose you heart feelings to you.

Step #2 - The Thought

If the feeling is not addressed it will move on to the next step which is the thought. Now the thought will be triggered by whatever, whoever and however. For example; the choir director gave Betty the lead to the song you used to lead, or the pastor is spending more time with Deacon Brown than with you, or Sister Rose niece,Christa got the part of Mary in the Christmas pageant instead of your little Sue-Ann. And everyone knows that little Sue-Ann is a better actresses......

Step #3 - The Non-Verbal Reaction

Left unchecked the thought will evolve into a facial expression that reveals itself. The eye-roll, the pursed lips, the raised eye brows, the frown, the furrowed brow...etc.

Step #4 - The Verbal Response

Something is going to come out of your mouth if you have allowed that non-verbal reaction to have its way. Your flesh will snicker in mockery, make a demeaning comment, belittle the other person's success, or just down right speak hateful things about the person.

Danger Will Robinson!!!!!

Step #5 - The Overt Physical Action

Left completely unchecked, jealousy will wreck your life. You will sabotage yourself in your attempt to sabotage others. You will lie, you will cheat, you will be phony or even down-right nasty.

When jealousy gets to this stage, it is back-lashing on you. In your mind, you are not doing anything wrong. Your mind is deceived. You claim to want to help the person do well, but at every turn, you are judging, complaining and gossiping about the person or situation.

It Will Hurt You....

Jealousy is self-debilitating. It is a double bladed knife and it cuts everyone involved. Jealousy will make you destroy yourself in your attempts to prove yourself 'better' or more 'qualified' than the object of your jealousy.

The result of walking in or harboring jealousy in your heart is misery. Think about it, the person you are jealous of is walking around free and happy while you're miserable....

Proverbs 26:27
If you set a trap for others, you will get caught in it yourself. If you roll a boulder down on others, it will crush you instead.

Looking On Our Insides!

The foundation of the Word of God lies in its truth. Part of that truth is that every person, especially Believers should judge themselves... examine themselves. We are to be 'sober' and 'vigilant' because we have a very real enemy with very real weapons.

Don't be deceived!!!!
It is the trick of the enemy to have us looking at, blaming, accusing and pointing the finger at others. It only makes us weak and vulnerable. It may be that someone is jealous of you. But more importantly than how someone feels about you is how you feel about others.

We all need to be courageous! We all need to take a look at ourselves and judge ourselves.

And So.......Now What???

  1. Recognizing jealousy in yourself is the first step toward dealing with it.
  2. When you see it in yourself acknowledge it.
  3. Immediately call on the Lord to help you check it
  4. Once it passes take a look at it... Why are you jealous? What makes you feel the way you do? What do they do, or have that you envy?
  5. Once you have your answer it is time to strengthen yourself against the next incident. It is time to gird yourself up. Be sure that jealousy will rise up in you again.
  6. Find out who you are in Christ so that you can get rid of the insecurity which is the root of all of the works of the flesh.


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