Posts Tagged jealousy

God is . . . not jealous

1 Corinthians 13: 4

Love is patient, love is kind, and [love] is not jealous.

We have heard that God is a jealous God (Exodus 20: 5), so how does this make sense? Well, it is true. As the song says, “God don’t play second fiddle.” He will have no other gods before Him. However, His love is not jealous and in a general sense He is not. He just will not abide idolatry and that is very different. I think you can easily distinguish these expressions of God’s preeminence as your God from jealous love.

He is more than happy for you to have many loves. In fact, He has told us that we ought to love one another even as He has loved us (John 13: 34). He desires that we be unified in love even as He and Jesus are one (John 17: 21). You see, love is not jealous.

Love, and therefore God, always wants the best for us. It isn’t selfish or controlling. It doesn’t take things or people away from us because it wants all of our attention. If someone in your life demonstrates these traits, then their love for you is not mature. This should be an immediate danger sign for you. Jealousy is not of God and is not godly. Further, there is no place in love for jealousy. What that person feels for you may be need or desire but it is not love.

God wants your time but He does not want to dominate your time or attention. His plan would be for you to take Him along on your run or your dinner out with friends. He does not have to be the center of attention and He does not want you to neglect the other parts of your life. His is a healthy love and as such is the model we should use in our interpersonal relationships. If people need to control us, they don’t love us. God wants you happy and healthy. His is a true love. He is not jealous.

Beyond Normal

1 Corinthians 3: 3


[F]or you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?
Paul seems to say here that he did not expect us to walk as mere men. He expected more of us. We are expected us to walk like Christ. Paul could tell that his disciples were not walking in the Way because there was still jealousy and strife among them. He berated them as fleshly babies but then attempted to draw them up to their true calling. They were to leave fleshly desires and behaviors behind and come up to a higher walk. Paul actually expected them to walk in a way that was above normal life. Honestly, most of the things that people strive over or are jealous about are temporal. They generally are not important in the grand scheme of things. When you have your eyes on the things above, it helps you tolerate the things of the world. Set your gaze on things above and let the things of this world slip beneath your feet. Don’t get caught up in the things of this world and you will find it easier to be kind to other people and jealousy and envy will no longer plague you.