The Harmful Effects of Jealousy

The Harmful Effects of Jealousy
“But if you are selfish and have bitter jealousy in your hearts, do not brag. Your bragging is a lie that hides the truth. That kind of ‘wisdom’ does not come from God but from the world. It is not spiritual; it is from the devil. Where jealousy and selfishness are, there will be confusion and every kind of evil.” – James 3:14-16

Being jealous of others is not a trait that is from God. It is evil and is from the evil one. Unfortunately, even Christians can become jealous of other Christians. It is possible if another Christian is given a position in the church the other wanted. That is the reason why we must always guard against the worldly desire of envy and selfish ambition since it has the power to harm others.

Being jealous never turned out good for people in the Bible. One person who experienced the harmful effects of jealousy was Abel in Genesis 4 when his brother Cain killed him. Cain killed him out of a jealous rage (Genesis 4:8). He killed his brother because God favored Abel’s sacrifice instead of Cain's (Genesis 4:3-6). Joseph is another person who was affected by jealousy. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers because they were jealous of him (Genesis 37:26-28). First it was because their father favored him more (Genesis 37:4). But later they hated him because Joseph had a dream that one day they would bow down to him (Genesis 37:5-8).

We can learn from Abel and Joseph the harmful effects of jealousy. It has the power to cause us to do evil and act ungodly. The evil actions that jealousy produces are from the devil since jealousy is a behavior that resembles what the demons do rather than men. We can prevent jealousy from controlling us with help from the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is there to help us in our weaknesses, especially when we struggle with jealousy (Romans 8:26).

Prayer of the day:

Dear heavenly Father,

Please help us not to be jealous. Jealousy can have harmful effects on people. We see the effects of it in the Bible. People are hurt by it. We can hurt people by doing or saying things out of jealousy. It is only You that can help us not to do anything that we will regret. We need help from the Holy Spirit to control our jealousy when we experience it. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!