Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, 1 Corinthians 13:4a (NCV)
Some days Randy Smith is a preacher, some days he's a janitor, some days he's a taxi service, some days he's a kitchen aide and unfortunately, some days he's a referee. Not a referee of a sporting event but a fight like the one that took place Wednesday night before youth group between Harold Peterson and his sister Stella.
Everything seemed to be going just fine when all of a sudden Harold started screaming “It's Not Fair!” at the top of his lungs. And trying to pull something away from Stella. “Whoa.” Randy called out as he step in between the two, “Harold, I'm not going to tolerate this behavior here. You are suppose to be loving your sister, and that is no way to show love. Haven't you been listening in church on Sunday?”
“Love?” Harold called out, “Valentines day is over. Besides, I can think of a lot better things to do to my sister other then loving her.” “What could be better then loving her.” Randy asked. “Torture,” Harold quickly answered, “And then after that beating her up.” “I don't thinks so.” Randy interrupted, “There is no goo reason for treating Stella like that.”
“Yes there is!” Harold shouted back and tried to take a lunge at Stella. “She got a brand new Hop Bopper and I didn't and that's not fair and she deserves to be tortured until she gives it to me.” “Hop Bopper? What's a Hop bopper?” Randy asked. “I don't know!” Harold snapped back, “All I know is Stella got one and she doesn’t deserve it and I’ll do what ever it takes to get her to give it to me.”
“Sounds to me as if you’re a bit jealous.” Randy said thinking this might make a great illustration for his next sermon. “Jealous?” Harold snorted, “All I know is she’s got it, I don’t and that’s not fair.” “What if it’s a girls thing?” Randy asked. When she heard Randy ask that, Stella gave a sort of a chuckle.
“A girl thing?” Harold shouted “She's trying to make me jealous over some kind of girl thing!? She can't do that! I'll booby trap her bedroom door, hide her school work, cut off her doll’s head....” “Woe, woe, woe.” Randy interrupted, but Harold kept on “And after that I'll take her Hop Bopper and hide it where she'll never find it.”
“I think it's time for you to leave, Harold.” Randy said and then escorted Harold to the door. When Randy got back he went to talk to Stella about her Hop Bopper to which Stella replied, “There's no such thing as a Hop Bopper. I just made it up to make Harold jealous. Oh, how I love to torture that miserable little creature people call my brother.” And then Randy escorted Stella to the door as well.
Love is not jealous. When you remove love for one another, you make room for jealousy, you make room for jealous no goods like these:
- Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, "I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD." And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it." Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. - Genesis 4:1-8 (ESV)
- Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him. Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. He said to them, "Hear this dream that I have dreamed: Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf." His brothers said to him, "Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?" So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words. Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, "Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me." But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, "What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?" And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind. … And the man said, "They have gone away, for I heard them say, 'Let us go to Dothan.' " So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan. They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him. - Genesis 37:3-11,17-18 (ESV)
- 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. And the women sang to one another as they celebrated, "Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands." 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?" And Saul eyed David from that day on. 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. And Saul hurled the spear, for he thought, "I will pin David to the wall." But David evaded him twice. - 1 Samuel 18:6-11 (ESV)
- "Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.' But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, 'Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!' And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.' " - Luke 15:25-32 (ESV)
Did you spot the jealous no good in each of these stories? Did you see the problems that the jealousy caused? Can you see how love and jealousy are incompatible?
Solomon, in his great wisdom, warns us of jealousy's dangers
- Proverbs 6:34 - For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge. (ESV)
- Proverbs 27:4 - Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy? (ESV)
- Ecclesiastes 4:4 - I saw that all labor and all skillful work is due to a man’s jealousy of his friend. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind. (HCSB)
- Song of Songs 8:6 - Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD. (ESV)
Here's Something To Ponder
- How often do you let jealousy take control of self?
- Do others suffer from your jealousy?