Jealousy doesn’t need to be explained. We come across it everywhere. Sometimes within us and sometimes in others around us. The ‘evil eye’ is a part of many cultures. The evil eye, also known as ‘envious’ or ‘invidious eye,’ is caused by those who are jealous or envious. Let us examine what the Bible says about jealousy and how God sees it.
The First Jealous Person
Do you know who the first jealous person was? It was Satan. Isaiah speaks about Satan in 14:13-14 “And you said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit upon the mount of assembly in the uttermost north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”
Satan was not satisfied to be an angel with powers that the Lord God created him to be. He wanted to usurp God’s throne and become god. Satan is the source of all evil in this world. Ephesians 2:2 speaks of those who follow Satan,,”You were following the course and fashion of this world [were under the sway of the tendency of this present age], following the prince of the power of the air. [You were obedient to and under the control of] the [demon] spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes of God].”
Created to be Unique
God He did not make us in a factory assembly line where there are hundreds of products of the same kind. He created each of us to be unique and special. Psalm 139:13 says, “For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb.” A person who is jealous wants what God has given or bestowed upon another person just like Satan who wanted to take God’s place and coveted it.
God is very clear about His stand where jealousy and envy is concerned. He makes this clear in the Ten Commandments, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” Exodus 20:17
The Path of a Jealous Person
A jealous person follows Satan on a self-destructive path. Job 5:2 says, “For vexation and rage kill the foolish man; jealousy and indignation slay the simple.” Proverbs 14:30 says, “A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones.”
We are warned in James 3:14-16, “But if you have bitter jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry, selfish ambition) in your hearts, do not pride yourselves on it and thus be in defiance of and false to the Truth. This [superficial] wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual (animal), even devilish (demoniacal). For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices.”
The Source of Wickedness
Mark 7:21-23 speaks about the source of all wickedness, “For from within, [that is] out of the hearts of men, come base and wicked thoughts, sexual immorality, stealing, murder, adultery, Coveting (a greedy desire to have more wealth), dangerous and destructive wickedness, deceit; unrestrained (indecent) conduct; an evil eye (envy), slander (evil speaking, malicious misrepresentation, abusiveness), pride (the sin of an uplifted heart against God and man), foolishness (folly, lack of sense, recklessness, thoughtlessness). All these evil [purposes and desires] come from within, and they make the man unclean and render him unhallowed.” AMP
You may think all these things are normal in this world. What difference does it make? People lie, cheat, steal, are jealous and envious, wanting evil for others all the time. So what?
A Serious Issue
Galatians 5:19-21 speaks about the eternal future of those who do evil. “Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear (obvious): they are immorality, impurity, indecency, Idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), party spirit (factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies), Envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Therefore, we have to be extremely careful that we do not blindly follow any person or trend that gets us out of alignment with God’s Word and His standards of living. Galatians 6:4 advises us saying, “But let every person carefully scrutinize and examine and test his own conduct and his own work. He can then have the personal satisfaction and joy of doing something commendable [in itself alone] without [resorting to] boastful comparison with his neighbor.”
Jesus Revealed the Truth
Jesus says in Matthew 6:22-23, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is sound, your entire body will be full of light. But if your eye is unsound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the very light in you [your conscience] is darkened, how dense is that darkness!” We need to be careful about our perceptions and attitudes as it affects all aspects of our life.
Jesus was very particular to express the severity of the situation. He goes straight to the point in Matthew 5:29 saying, “If your right eye serves as a trap to ensnare you or is an occasion for you to stumble and sin, pluck it out and throw it away. It is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be cast into hell (Gehenna).” Matthew 5:29 It was for this reason that Jesus taught us to pray saying, “And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.” Matthew 6:13
What Should We Do?
We need to take some time to take stock of the situation and search our hearts. Are we struggling with jealousy and envy? If we had to stand before God today, what would He see inside our hearts? Would Jesus be grieved by the condition of our heart? Have we done evil against a brother or sister, caused harm and grief because of our jealousy? What should we do about it?
Isaiah 1:16 gives us clear advice saying, “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes! Cease to do evil.”
Make a Decision Today
1 Peter 2:1-2 also shows us the way, “So be done with every trace of wickedness (depravity, malignity) and all deceit and insincerity (pretense, hypocrisy) and grudges (envy, jealousy) and slander and evil speaking of every kind. Like newborn babies you should crave (thirst for, earnestly desire) the pure (unadulterated) spiritual milk, that by it you may be nurtured and grow unto [completed] salvation.”
God does not want any of us to perish. When we choose to do evil against a brother or sister, we are actually making an adversary of the Lord since we are working against a child of His. 1 Peter 3:12 says, “For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God), and His ears are attentive to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who practice evil [to oppose them, to frustrate, and defeat them].”
Many of us will find some jealous streak within our hearts. Let us make a decision to overcome it and pray, “Lord, I am sorry I have grieved Your heart by allowing jealousy to come into my heart. Forgive me for my jealous thoughts and deeds. I repent for them. I renounce all my jealous thoughts and desires. I surrender my heart into Your care. Cleanse and purge me of all wickedness and give me a clean heart. Help me to live a life that is pleasing to you. Lord, help me know who You created me to be. I seek Your will for my life. I want to live a life that glorifies Your holy name. Amen.”