Jealousy is a work of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21) which is ruinous to the character of man. It is a sin of disposition which is both mean and wicked. The difference between jealousy and envy is that jealousy fears to lose what it has while envy is pained at seeing another have. Both are a malicious spirit that seeks to deny or destroy the good it sees in others. Solomon declared that “…jealousy enrages a man, and he will not spare in the day of vengeance” (Proverbs 6:34).
Man’s history is clouded with fits of jealousy that have wreaked havoc. Cain was jealous of his brother Abel and murdered him (Genesis 4:1-8). Sarah’s jealousy of Hagar motivated her to treat Hagar harshly (Genesis 16:1-6). King Saul’s jealousy of David blinded him to the admirable qualities David possessed which could have been utilized for the benefit of the nation of Israel (1 Samuel 18:8-30). The brother of the prodigal son was unable to rejoice in the recovery of his fallen brother because of jealousy (Luke 15:25-32).
Jealousy has no cultural, racial, social or economic barriers. It has afflicted all people and been the ruin of many. It has divided families, destroyed friendships, ruined health, split churches and afflicted many preachers. Jealousy acts as a wedge to destroy harmony and unity between preachers and elders, the elders and the congregation, as well as between fellow elders. Indeed, it has a destructive power about it that is difficult to overcome. “Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood, but who can stand before jealousy?” (Proverbs 27:4). The apostle James stated that “…where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing” (James 3:16).
Jealousy is a manifestation of spiritual immaturity (1 Corinthians 3:3). It will dwarf, wither, and shrivel the soul and fill one’s life with hatred and bitterness and make life miserable and wretched. To love is to rejoice in another’s good and to seek his welfare; this is Godlike. To be filled with jealousy is to have the murderous hatred of Cain who slew his brother; this is satanic. Be Godlike!