Jealousy, the green-eyed-monster that makes us green with envy! We all have moments when we feel jealous. But the root of jealousy is usually insecurity. We aren’t confident and fear we may lose something or someone. This insecurity can ruin a relationship if left unchecked.
Interestingly, the Bible has quite a bit to say about jealousy:
First, be aware of jealousy. It may be normal to have those thoughts, but is not an emotion we want to rule our hearts. It will only do us harm in the end.
“But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.” James 3:14-15
Jealousy is not a positive emotion! It creeps up from insecurity and should not be fueled. Instead, identify the source of insecurity and what is driving those feelings.
Second, thinking about jealous feelings leads to anger and revenge.
“For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge.” Proverbs 6:34
Therefore, we need to take jealous thoughts captive. Grab those thoughts, find our security in Christ, and confront the issues that are prompting these feelings. Ruminating on jealous thoughts fuels anger.
Third, do not to act on jealous feelings.
“Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.” Romans 13:13
Once we recognize jealous thoughts, take them captive and don’t allow them to fuel anger and revenge, our actions change.
Here is an example: Sally is jealous of her husband’s new administrator who is quite attractive. Sally has recently had a baby and feels insecure about her physical attractiveness. Yet her husband shows no signs of lacking interest in her.
Sally identifies her jealous thought towards the administrator. She realizes it has everything to do with how insecure she feels about her own body. Then she takes that thought captive,
“I’ve just had a baby. My body is bouncing back and it isn’t what it was, but that is normal and doesn’t mean my husband will look at other women. There is no evidence that my husband is interested in this woman. I need to talk to him and be reassured.”
Sally talks to her husband who reassures her that he finds her even more attractive as a mom and has made a vow to be faithful to her. Then the couple prayed to overcome feelings of insecurity and be faithful to each other. To do both, they must keep their relationship with God front and center in order to keep jealous feelings at bay. Without God’s help, it is easy to allow those feelings to take hold and do harm.