I am greatly troubled by the hatred, bitterness, and violence of my thoughts towards some people I barely even know, even some people that I actually really like!
Do you know what I am talking about? Have you ever been jealous? Do you have repeated arguments against a person in your own head? Do you imagine embarrassing them in public, maybe even hurting them physically? Do you wish for misfortune to befall them, you know anything to make them look worse so you can look better?
OK I am sure by this point you are all judging me, thinking who is the lady, she is pure evil! I am not going to argue with you on this point, I am a desperate sinner in need of my Savior's love to transform me, cleansing me from all jealously, and instead producing in me love, patience, kindness, and goodness...
You may be thinking so what I am a little jealous sometimes? What's the big deal? It drives me to do better...
I want to argue jealousy is deadly, and it never stays "a little" it always grows, unless you get rid of it! Let's look at case study...
1 Samuel 18
Saul's Jealousy of David
6 As they were coming home, when David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments. 7 And the women sang to one another as they celebrated,
“Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands.”
8 And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?”9 And Saul eyed David (Saul was jealous of David) from that day on. 10 The next day a harmful spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved within his house while David was playing the lyre, as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand. 11 And Saul hurled the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David evaded him twice.
12 Saul was afraid of David because the Lord was with him but had departed from Saul. 13 So Saul removed him from his presence and made him a commander of a thousand. And he went out and came in before the people. 14 And David had success in all his undertakings, for the Lord was with him.15 And when Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in fearful awe of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, for he went out and came in before them.
So Saul becomes jealous of David, and he doesn't deal with it, instead he indulges in it, trying to actually kill David! I know this is an extreme example but I think it makes a good point, Saul fosters jealously for David and it doesn't end well for Saul, jealously is deadly...
After years of being tormented by hatred, bitterness, and violent hatred, and years of pursuing David trying to kill him, Saul kills himself :
...Therefore Saul took his own sword and fell upon it... (1 Sam. 31:)
Jealously did not kill David it killed Saul.
I once heard that holding on to jealously, bitterness, and hatred against someone else is like taking poison everyday hoping to kill the other person, when in fact you are only killing yourself!
Are you killing yourself with jealously, bitterness, or hatred? Take sometime to ask the Lord if you are harboring any un-forgiveness towards anyone.
If/when He brings someone to mind, ask Him by the power of his Holy Spirit to forgive them, to let go of all jealously, bitterness, and hatred, knowing that if you hold onto these things you are only poisoning yourself becoming an angry and bitter person, and you're not in fact hurting them.
I want to acknowledge that some of us have some deep deep hurts that are not so simple to just forgive in a single prayer. I want to encourage all of us who recognize that we have some deep jealously, bitterness, and anger that we need help with to reach out to a trusted mature Christian, pastor, or councilor, you are not alone in this, there is hope for us, we can be set free from all jealously, bitterness, and anger!
Did you hear me?
WE CAN BE FREE! This is the good news! Jesus has come so that we no longer have to be bound up in the chains of jealously, bitterness, and anger, instead we can be free to run and dance with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control!
Are you ready to dance!? Let's dance baby!