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THE ROOT OF JEALOUSY

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One of my favorite Bible verses about jealousy is, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” (1 Corinthians 13:4) When you shift your focus to one of love, especially when you’re filled with GOD’S love, it will transform your attitude.

When we immerse ourselves in Bible verses about jealousy it can help us shift our focus. To stop putting our focus on what we don’t have, and rather learn to be grateful for what we do have. Otherwise jealousy can lead to being anxious, bitter, or depressed. God speaks about jealousy being worse than anger, Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy? (Proverbs 27:4)

Once jealousy takes a hold of you, it can be hard to break free of those chains, leading you down a path of resentment, irrational behavior, and broken relationships.

Understanding jealousy.
If you want to overcome your jealousy you must first understand this issue biblically. As you study Scripture on this topic you quickly realize that there is a good form of jealousy and an evil form of jealousy. How can I say this? Consider first that God is a jealous God (Ex. 34:14). The word jealousy used in this passage means to zealously pursue what is right and good.

God does not want you to have any other god before Him and therefore He zealously pursues you. However, God in His love will never force, control, or manipulate a person to follow Him. He gives you the choice to even reject Him. Jesus noted this freedom of choice when He said to the Pharisees, “You are not willing to come to Me that you may have life” (John 5:40).
Men and women can also have a godly jealousy toward another individual.

This truth was revealed when Paul said to the Corinthian church, “For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Cor 11:2). Therefore, it is only natural that your spouse would want you to remain completely faithful to him or her.

But, what is so grievous about human jealousy is that it usually crosses the line by attempting to force a person to love or be faithful. God will never do that in His jealousy. In fact, it is impossible to force anyone to love you or be faithful. Love and faithfulness must be chosen by a person’s own free will.
In contrast, evil jealousy is actually what the Bible calls a work of your flesh, or that which has its motivation in your sinful nature.

Selfishness is what causes a person to pressure, force, and manipulate another. When Paul listed these works of your sinful nature in Galatians 5:20, he used the word “emulation” which actually means jealousy. Contentious rivalry and hatred will always result from selfish jealousy and will surely destroy the love within a marriage (Gal. 5:20). In addition, the words translated “indignation” in Acts 5:17 and “envy” in Acts 13:45 also are the same Greek words for jealousy.

As you can see, jealousy is not always wrong or evil; it is a question of motivation or your behavior. If you are displaying anger, contention, and envy toward your spouse or you are trying to manipulate your mate, then you definitely have the wrong kind of jealousy. Your jealousy does not have godly motivation which is tempered by love and freedom.

What are some of the basic causes of the jealous feelings that may dominate you? Jealousy can result from comparing yourself with others, failure to trust people, personal insecurity, competition with others, or the fear of your mate replacing you with another.

Sometimes the source of your jealousy may be all of the above. The only way to get free from these causes of jealousy is by aggressively dealing with the issues in your life. You cannot expect that your jealous behavior will just miraculously disappear on its own just because you desire it to do so. You must apply the solutions found in God’s Word if you ever hope to find the freedom you desire.

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