Fatal Distractions: Jealousy

Jealousy copy


Jealousy or Envy. We have all felt its heavy bondage at some point. We also know how much chaos it rains down on our lives. It starts with one small seed planted in our hearts, its toxins then release into our thoughts and grows from there into our conversations. Then it happens. We realize that we’re left in the wreckage of a jealous-soaked life of dissatisfaction and bitterness. Our hearts race to find answers. Where does jealousy come from? Why is it so vile? Most importantly, how do we deal with it? Let’s renew our minds with God’s Word through James 3:13-17 and discover some answers:

“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exit, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”

James knew that our conduct could manifest itself in two very different ways.

1. There’s conduct driven by wisdom from above (from God) that makes itself known in characteristics like meekness, gentleness, openness to reason, sincerity (verses 13 and 17).
2. Then there’s an earthly conduct (from the enemy of God, satan) that is unspiritual, demonic. What is the manifestation of this demonic, earthly conduct? Jealousy and selfish ambition (verses 14-15).

Jealousy just got serious. We can’t try harder to stop thinking jealous thoughts. We can’t just work more to stop having those jealousy-driven conversations. Through James, God shows us that our jealousy problem is actually a deeper problem. If there’s jealousy in our lives we need to be filled by a different source! We need the Source that pours in us be wisdom from above. Then what flows out of us is a manifestation of wonderful, good fruits that will help wash out our internal mess and bring healing. God shares so much about this Source in His Word but let’s look at one other place specifically that deals with jealousy also known as envy.

“If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” Galatians 5: 25-26

Living by an earthly spirit results in conceited provoking and envying, and it’s the exact opposite of living by God’s Spirit. So, how do we deal with the deadly source that results in jealousy? As always, the answer is found in the gospel, the good news, of Jesus Christ! Paul’s letter to Titus lays out the gospel so well:

“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit whom be poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4-7).

Jesus died to absorb God’s wrath against sin and to take away the penalty for sinning, death. Our relationship with God that was broken by our sins, like jealousy, can now be reconciled. He now freely gives us his very own Spirit to live in us in power! (Luke 11:13, John 14:26, Acts 2:38). With this new Spirit, our conduct will no longer be a life filled with jealousy but will be renewed with wisdom from above.

Fatal Distractions

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