Love Does Not Get Jealous
Here is the first of eight negative descriptions of love. One of the hardest battles a Christian must fight is jealousy. We all face the temptation of jealousy when someone else does something better than we do or when someone is recognised a little more often than we are.
The root meaning of the word “jealous” or (“to be jealous”) is “to have a strong desire,” and is the term from which we get zeal. In Proverbs we read these words “Wrath is cruel and anger a torrent, but who is able to stand before jealousy?” (Proverbs 27:4). In its extreme, jealousy can be vicious. James says, “But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast, and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there” (James 3:14-16).
Jealousy is not a moderate or harmless sin. A Christian full of the Holy Spirit does not do the things that are listed here in this chapter, but in Scripture there are many accounts of jealousy recorded.
It was Eve’s jealousy of God, sparked by pride, because of Satan’s deception that caused her to want to be like God, to have what He has and to know what He knows. Jealousy was an integral part of that sin, from which all other sin has descended.
The next sin mentioned in the book of Genesis is when Cain killed Abel because of jealousy. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery because of jealousy. Daniel was thrown to the lions and it was because of jealousy that the elder brother resented the father’s attention that he showed toward the prodigal son.
A Christian full of God’s love is never jealous. He is glad for the success of others.
By John Denman
Photo by M. E. Head