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Seeds of the Kingdom

Jealousy: Good and Bad

by David Cross

You shall not worship them (idols) or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children…
Exodus 20:5a, NAS

Jealousy can be described as an intense concern for something or someone, believing that these are, or might be, left to the wrongful advantage of another person. God created mankind for Himself and He is jealous for the covenant relationship which He purposed with each one of us, an intimacy lost through sin. We see in today’s verse that His jealousy over our inheritance of separation from Him has a serious consequence for our lives.

However, He has determined, through Jesus, to provide a rescue for us from the false friendship of the ruler of the world. He has made a way back into His family, just as a bridegroom would be rightfully jealous of his bride being seduced by another, and would fight to win her back. This is the godly jealousy which Paul felt for those whom he had brought to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2).

Unfortunately, most human jealousy is the result of our carnality claiming an entitlement to have what we see others possess. God has called each of His children to be content with His provision for our lives, for He alone truly knows our needs. He does not condone the poverty which society has allowed through sin, nor does He condemn those who seek to better their standard of living, but this needs to be done with eyes fixed on Him and not on the apparent advantages enjoyed by our neighbor (Exodus 20:17).

There is no peace in wrongful jealousy. In fact unresolved envy can be deeply damaging to the whole body (Proverbs 14:30). God wants us to be free from these negative passions, although Paul says that God will even use the jealousy of the Jews towards Gentile believers, to bring the children of Israel back into true relationship with Him (Romans 11:11). By our confessing envy and through receiving God`s forgiveness, we can know His healing, and be content in the abundance of life which has been promised by Jesus.

Prayer: Father, teach me to be rightfully jealous for what concerns You, while being free from the wrongful envy of others who seem to have more than me. I trust You with all my needs. Amen.

David Cross David is Deputy International Director for Ellel Ministries, with particular responsibility for the Ellel centres in Western Europe. He is married to Denise and they have three grown up children and eight grandchildren. David has been a civil engineer and ski-touring instructor in the Highlands of Scotland. He is passionate about the teaching and practice of the healing and deliverance ministry of Jesus and has written several books: Soul Ties, Trapped by Control, God’s Covering, The Dangers of Alternative Ways to Healing(co-authored with John Berry), an A to Z Guide to the Healing Ministry, and, most recently, What`s Wrong with Human Rights? You can follow a daily thought from David on Twitter: @dmcross62

 

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