Jealousy is a powerful emotion. Its definition is “insecurity, fear, concern, and anxiety over an anticipated loss of status or something of great personal value, particularly in reference to a human connection. Jealousy often consists of a combination of emotions such as anger, resentment, inadequacy, helplessness, and disgust.”
God’s word speaks of two types of jealousy: legitimate and illegitimate. Legitimate jealousy is the type God has for his people when their hearts are turned toward other desires, away from Him. This takes the form of having idols in our lives. An idol is anything which takes the place of God in our hearts. There are lots of verses about idols. Deuteronomy 4:24 says “the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God”. Legitimate jealousy also manifests itself when in a marriage relationship, a husband or wife turns their affections to someone else.
Illegitimate jealousy is something completely different. It is driven by selfish motives that are not satisfied with what we have, continuously looking around at what other people are doing or have and always wanting more. This type of jealousy is also called envy. The Bible says envy leads to “fighting, quarreling, and every evil thing” (James 3:16, 4:1-2). Take some time to read about Cain and Abel, Sarah and Hagar, and Joseph and his brothers.
We need to replace the feelings of jealousy we have with love, humility, and gratefulness. Confess any jealous feelings you have to God and pray for His help to cultivate joy and thankfulness in your heart.
CHALLENGE: Become your spouse’s biggest fan. Reject any thoughts of jealousy. Find yesterday’s negative list and tear it up. Share with your spouse how happy you are for a recent accomplishment of theirs.