by Barbara Latta
Humanity has been dealing with jealousy since the beginning of time. Our fallen nature promotes self
The Bible gives us several examples of people in the Bible who gave in to jealousy and the disastrous result.
- Cain was jealous of Abel – resulting in murder and Cain becoming an outcast (Genesis 4:3-15).
- Jacob and Esau – Jacob was jealous of Esau’s birthright; Esau was jealous after Jacob stole it – resulting in Jacob’s deceit to his father and he had to leave home; Esau lost his rightful place as the firstborn (Genesis 25:29-34; Genesis 27).
- Joseph’s brothers were jealous – resulting in selling their brother and lying to their father (Genesis 37:18-34).
- Miriam and Aaron were jealous of Moses – resulting in Miriam contracting leprosy (Numbers 12:1-16).
- Eliab was jealous of David – resulting in him not being chosen as the next king because of what was in his heart (I Samuel 16:6-7).
- Saul was jealous of David – resulting in torment from an evil spirit (I Samuel 18:6-11).
- Michel was jealous of David’s relationship with God when he danced before the ark – resulting in barrenness (2 Samuel 6:16-23).
- Absalom was jealous of his father, David – resulting in his death (2 Samuel 15:12; 2 Samuel 18).
- Jesus’ disciples were jealous of each other – resulting in Jesus’s reprimand (Luke 22:24-30).
As a writer, I have many instances for envy to arise in my soul. When other writers are published and I am still waiting, these feelings could derail my progress if I let them. But God showed me what jealousy really is.
But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have selfish ambition there you find disorder and every evil practice (James 3:14-16 NIV).
I highlighted the words earthly, unspiritual and demonic because reading that can set us in our place. That really spoke to me when I read those words in the NIV. Jealousy is demonic. I don’t want anything demonic in my life, but the only way to keep it out is to be submitted to God and feed on His Word.
No matter what our position in life is, jealousy and envy can attack. We can compare ourselves to other parents, careers, possessions and titles, but the bottom line is jealousy comes from the devil.
The remedy for this is to find scriptures that help with overcoming these feelings. Here are a few I stand on:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit; rather in humility value others above yourselves (Philippians 2:3 NIV).
A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones (Proverbs 14:30 NKJV). Wow, I don’t want rotten bones!
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go for to you I entrust my life (Psalm 143:8 NIV).
God will show His plan to each of us when we ask Him to. His plan for me is not the same as His plan for someone else so I shouldn’t strive to have another person’s position or accomplishment.
These are just a few scriptures that are medicine to the soul when the sickness of envy attacks.
Feel free to share some of your favorite verses and join the conversation.