ENVY AND JEALOUSY

DEFINITION:  Envy is a synonym for jealousy and covetousness excited by the success of others.  It is resentment of the spiritual, financial, or material blessings of others.  It is lustful desire and longing for something that someone else has.  It is sometimes characterized by snide remarks against others in an effort to build up one’s own self.

FACTS ABOUT ENVY AND JEALOUSY:

Envy comes from the spirit of man.  “Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?”  (James 4:5)

Envy is a sign of being a carnal Christian. “…for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?” (1 Corinthians 3:3, NKJV)

Those living in sin are filled with envy.  “Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers…” (Romans 1:29, KJV)

Where there is envy, other problems arise. “But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.  For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice”  (James 3:14,16).

You are not to envy sinners. Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord” (Proverbs 23:17)

Envy is a characteristic of false teachers.  “If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching,  he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions  and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain” (1 Timothy 6:-4).

DEALING WITH  ENVY AND JEALOUSY:

Acknowledge that you are envious and jealous.  Until you recognize these responses are operating in your life, you will not be able to deal with them.

Recognize the ramifications of envy and jealousy.  It results in confusion and other evil works (James 3:16) and it ultimately ends in tragedy (Galatians 5:19-21).

Repent.  Envy and jealousy are sins which require repentance.

Ask God for a new manifestation of His love.  When you truly love someone, you do not envy them, nor are you jealous of them:  “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy…” (1 Corinthians 13:4)

In the future:

-Walk in the Spirit: Romans 13:13.

-Manifest the Fruit of the Spirit: Galatians 5:22-23. 

-Focus on things of eternal value instead of things of the world: Colossians 3:1-4.

WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT ENVY AND JEALOUSY:

A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones. (Proverbs 14:30)

Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.  (Proverbs 23:17)

Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers… (Romans 1:29, KJV)

Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. (Romans 13:13, NKJV)

…for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? (1 Corinthians 3:3, NKJV)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy…(1 Corinthians 13:4)

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;  idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.   (Galatians 5:19-23)

If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching,  he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions  and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain.  (1 Timothy 6:3-6)

For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, and deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.  (Titus 3:3, KJV)

But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.  Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.  For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.  (James 3:14,16)

Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? (James 4:5)

(See also “Covetousness” and “Greed” in this database.)

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