The Source of Jealousy

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Jealousy is a common sin among believers, but that does not make it acceptable.

Galatians 5:17-21

Most likely, you have been caught off guard by a wave of jealousy at some point in your life. Was it a spiritual attack? Did the enemy make you covetous? Was someone or something working to make you resentful?

The answer—which may surprise you—is no. Jealousy actually springs from within us, even though we might try to deflect the blame. For example, we may say, “Well, they just shouldn’t have that. They don’t deserve it, so I’m perfectly justified in feeling this way.”

Do you see what is actually going on here? We are not only feeling envious of someone, but we’re also saying that our jealousy is the other person’s fault! That’s simply not true. We are each 100 percent responsible for our own feelings of envy.

Jealousy is a product of the flesh. In the Bible, it is listed among such sins as idolatry, immorality, drunkenness, and sorcery—sins that stand against our holy God and are described as “earthly, natural, demonic” (Gal. 5:17-21; James 3:15).

Envious feelings can lead to unhealthy comparison of one’s own success to someone else’s. That pattern can grow into a competition to outperform others—and may result in fear and resentment. What a horrible way to live!

Though jealousy is a common emotion, it has no place in a believer’s life. So each of us should try to look objectively at the motives of our heart. Are you plagued with an attitude of jealousy today? If so, lay your honest feelings out before the Lord, and ask Him to cleanse you of this sinful attitude.

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