When Jealousy Dominates
Jealousy, like all sin, robs those who succumb to it. Saul’s jealousy robbed him of enjoying friendship with David. It blinded him to appreciating David’s value to him and his kingdom. Worse yet, it blocked Saul’s spiritual growth and kept him from being the great king he had the ability to be. Both Saul and David were hurt by the jealousy that Saul allowed to grow in his heart.
Perhaps it was David’s youth, or his attainments, or the love that others gave him. Whatever the reason, Saul became jealous and instead of exorcising this sin from his life. He allowed it to grow. He became filled with hatred, suspicious of David’s motives, and willing to kill David without causes.
Saul could have enjoyed the pleasure of David’s friendship. Instead of hating him, a leader-disciple relationship could have developed. Saul could have enriched David’s youthful thinking and received a stronger faith in return. But jealousy closed the door to all the possible good for Saul.
If Saul could have accepted David as a friend instead of a rival, David’s talents could have blessed the entire kingdom and thereby enhanced Saul’s reign. David’s skill in battle could have brought additional victories to Saul’s armies: his leadership ability could have united the splintering kingdom; his ability to draw out the best in men could have blessed Saul’s subjects. Saul lost all these possible benefits by letting jealousy push David out of his life. But the worst result of Saul’s jealousy was his own spiritual deterioration. Sin, un-repented, brings havoc to anyone’s spiritual life.
Because of his jealousy Saul wasted his energy and time planning revenge and seeking to hurt David. Christians today are sometimes attached by a spirit of jealousy. However, they need not yield to its control. God will give them help to combat its advances.
When a Christian recognizes that jealousy is growing in his heart, he should immediately take steps to deal with it. Justifying himself with arguments that he has reason to be jealous will only prolong his agony. Jealousy should be called by its name – sin – and confessed to God in repentance.
After the Christian has repented and prayed for God’s help in dealing with his emotions, he should take further action to rid him self of any hurt and bitterness. He can do this by actively loving the person of whom he was jealous. Whether that person is worthy of love or not is not important. God can give a godly love that will overcome any remaining resentment.
The good points of the person who provoked the jealous spirit should be recognized and complimented generously, but at the same time, every Christian must realize that he has unique abilities of his own. Sometimes jealousy results from one’s feelings of worthlessness. God has endowed each of us to be a special individual. Every person has talents and abilities that God wants him to use for His glory. While one Christian is feeling jealous of another, he may be allowing his own talents and abilities to remain undeveloped, thus missing God’s best for him.
God desires that His children enjoy fellowship with each other and with him. Jealousy will block these loving relationships. It will keep a believer from enjoying his salvation and from being his best for God. But jealousy does not have to allow in the believer’s life. It can be confessed, forgiven, rooted out, and replaced with God’s love.
In Godly Love,
Overseer Joseph Ingram