October 21, 2017

Jealousy Destroys

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 21, 2017

And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David. 1 Samuel 18:9

Jealousy is destructive. It can destroy your reputation, your relationships, your health, and your favor from God. Jealousy is insidious, as it gradually creeps into your life over time. Slowly and surely it enflames your anger and squelches your joy. Instead of celebrating the success of another, jealousy resents not being the center of attention. A relationship that started out as supportive and encouraging can turn 180 degrees to one of criticism and betrayal.

Jealousy creates relational dysfunction that begins with sympathy toward the one who is infected, but quickly regresses to dismay from those who are affected by jealousy’s tantrums. Insecurity feeds jealousy, for there is a sense of not experiencing God’s blessing in the same way another is experiencing God’s blessing. “Therefore, I must be inferior,” is the lie that is tolerated. If you believe this deception long enough, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, because jealousy feeds inferiority.

Jealousy is truly a green-eyed monster seeking to destroy everyone in its path. It does not discriminate. Rather it indoctrinates at every level of society. Jealousy drives the poor to bad mouth the rich because of their wealth and opportunities. The wealthy can become jealous of the less successful because of their simple and carefree lives. Women are jealous of women, and men are jealous of men. You can become jealous of another’s spouse, children, or career.

You can even be jealous of one’s relationship with God because He is not blessing you with the same intensity that He is blessing someone else. Jealousy is a game that no one wins, and it makes Satan smile. So how do you deal with jealousy? If jealousy is directed toward you, seek to disarm it with confrontation and grace. Instead of talking about the jealous offender to others, confront the person in their disillusionment, and help them understand this destructive path.

Jealousy needs to be extracted from the heart, as if by a skilled surgeon. Ultimately, only God can perform the procedure. But you can be God’s conduit to bring the issue to the surface, and urge the offender to come clean. The person may not respond immediately, but at least you have planted the seed. Then others who have been silent will be inspired by your boldness, and they may speak candidly to the jealous one.

If you are the object of another’s jealousy, do not make room for jealousy’s accusations. If you are “suffering” from success, quickly and often give God and others the credit for your good fortune. Leave no question for doubt that you recognize the contribution of the team, and that you are just one of the facilitators of the process. Deflect attention from yourself to others and God. Don’t have a false humility, but an authentic humility that communicates grace and truth.

Lastly, if jealousy haunts you and you are enamored with its seduction, admit it, and confess it as sin. Do not be deceived any longer. Learn to celebrate the successes of others and let gratitude be the driving force of your life. Be content with what you have, and trust God with what you don’t have. Disciples of Jesus are to rise above immature and worldly ways. Be yourself, and thank God that He has made you the way you are.

The Bible says, “You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?” (I Corinthians 3:3).



Heavenly Father, replace my insecurity and jealousy with Your security and joy.


Who can I celebrate with others over their success?

Related Reading

Genesis 30:1; Proverbs 27:4; Romans 13:13; James 4:2 Today’s reading is taken from Boyd’s most popular book: Seeking Daily the Heart of God, a 365 day devotional.

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Celebrate the successes of others and let gratitude energize your life. #jealousy #wisdomhunters

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  1. Anita Byle says:

    I appreciate your devotionals very much and they are always a huge encouragement to me, including this one. However, I was taught that jealousy and envy are NOT the same thing. Our society has gradually blended these words to have the same meaning. But the Bible says that God is a jealous God. So how can jealousy be wrong? It is not wrong, because it means to want to have or keep what rightfully belongs to you. To envy means to desire what belongs to someone else. And that is sin. Thanks for your consideration.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Anita,
      Thank you so much for reaching out to us after reading “Jealousy Destroys”. You made some great points and raised an important question “So how can jealousy be wrong?” referring to the Bible stating our God is a jealous God. Wow. I had to do some digging into the Word and a little research on the subject. So I thank you. Whenever I can dig further into the heart of God, His Word, and learn more, I am so blessed.
      You are right, I don’t believe jealousy and envy are the same thing but what I learned is that the “jealousy of God” is a righteous jealousy which is completely different than a sinful jealousy.
      “Both the Old Testament and New Testament words for jealousy are translated “zeal”. Being jealous and being zealous are essentially the same thing in the Bible. God is zealous-eager about what protecting what is precious to Him”. (From the series “The Joy of Knowing God” #21: A Jealous God, http://www.bible.org)
      We know that God, our Father, is perfect and pure and not capable of the sinful jealousy we think of. There is absolutely NO selfishness in God’s jealousy. HIS is a righteous jealousy, an expression of His Holiness and Love.
      However, there are some examples of sinful jealousy in the Bible. Remember Joseph’s brothers were so jealous of him, they plotted his death and cast him into a pit. (Genesis 31:11) And then there was the sinful jealousy we learn about in Acts when Jewish religious leaders were jealous over the apostles and put them in prison. (Acts 5:17).
      I think you nailed envy when you said “To envy means to desire what belongs to someone else. And that is sin.”
      Solomon said it best “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” Proverbs 14:30
      Anita, thank you for your comments. I can’t help but think that there are others in our Wisdom Hunter’s family who might have wondered the same thing and you were asking for them as well.
      We are grateful for you and look forward to hearing from you again. If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to email me gwynne@wisdomhunters.com and we can talk more.
      Blessings to you and yours,

      “And he passed in front Moses proclaiming, ‘The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, an forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Exodus 34:6

      “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven or above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations, of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20:4-6

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