20150823FBCPM & 20150903FBCTH
Jealousy. Itʼs been around since Adam and Eve. In fact, when Adam came home each night, Eve used to count his ribs.
Why should we be concerned about jealousy? Because jealousy (and it’s twin, envy) are dangerous, as an ancient Greek legend illustrates:
It seems a young Greek athlete ran in a race and placed second. In honor of the winner his village erected a large statue in the town square.
Envy and jealousy attacked the runner who came in second to the degree that he made plans to destroy the statue. Each night, under cover of darkness, he went out and chipped away at the foundation of the statue, expecting it to fall on its own some day.
One night, however, he chipped too much. The statue’s weakened base began to crack until it popped. The huge marble statue came down upon the disgruntled athlete. He died under the crushing weight of the one he had come to hate.
The truth is he died long before the statue fell on him. In giving up his heart to envy and jealousy he had ceased to live for himself. He became a slave to the giant of jealousy. His heart had become a picture of the Greek word “envy,” which means “to boil within.” (Jeremiah, 118)
What do we get jealous about as Christians?
- We might get jealous when another church has more attendance or more kids at their youth program.
- We might get jealous when someone else is elected deaconess or deacon and weʼre not.
- We might get jealous when someone else is more liked than we are.
- We might get jealous when someone else intrudes into our ministry.
I could say more, but you see the point: every church is a fertile field where the weed of jealousy can grow.
Weʼll see it happen in our passage and weʼll see the way to kill jealousy in our church and in our lives.
Before we do, it might be helpful to distinguish between jealousy and envy—they are very much related, in fact, they’re twins, but they are also different. How are they different? One explanation I found said:
To envy is to want something which belongs to another person. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, his wife or his servant, his ox or donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
In contrast, jealousy is the fear that something which we possess will be taken away by another person. (Collins)
But another person said:
(1) Jealousy is what makes us act in a certain way.
(2) Envy is what we may passively feel. (Kendall, 360)