Spiritual Formation

Spiritual Stumbling Blocks: Jealousy

“Envy is the art of counting another fellow’s blessings instead of your own.” — Harold Coffin by Captain Emmanuel Masango

Jealousy shows up early in life. It can be a three-year-old boy jealous of his newborn sister, or a preteen envying the popularity or possessions of a friend. As adults, we find it hard to celebrate a fellow Christian in church or to avoid maligning a work colleague who got the promotion ahead of us. 

King Herod was jealous of Jesus, the “new-born King of the Jews.” His response to this “rival king” was to order the genocide of thousands of Hebrew babies in a failed effort to kill Jesus.

We may not all be murderous kings, but we may assassinate characters, kill dreams or tarnish the reputation of others. When unchecked, jealousy can lead to dangerous choices and tragic consequences! We overcome it by counting our blessings and celebrating the gifts, hard work and achievements of others.

“The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves.”

William Penn

For Further Reflection

Take a few moments to read the following scriptures and reflect on what they say about jealousy. Prayerfully consider and write down a list of people or instances when jealousy has gotten the better of you. Pray for the Lord to help you overcome jealousy and instead practice gratitude for the life, gifts and opportunities you have.  

  • Genesis 37:1-11
  • James 4:1-3
  • Acts 5:12-20
  • Acts 13:44-52
  • 2 Corinthians 12:19-21

A Prayer for  Overcoming Jealousy

Dear God, please show me the areas of my life that are held captive by jealousy. Help me to celebrate the gifts, opportunities and achievements of all the people in my life, whether family, friends or fellow believers. Help me to appreciate all that You have given me and to be grateful for Your provision, protection and presence in my life. Amen. 

Steps to Salvation

The Bible states that God loves you and cares for you as a person (John 3:16). Humankind has been separated from God by sin (Romans 3:23). God sent His Son as a provision for our salvation through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and His resurrection from the dead (Romans 5:8). Doing good deeds is not enough (Ephesians 2:8-9), but receiving the free gift of salvation is (John 1:12).

You can invite Jesus Christ into your life right now by praying something like the following:

Dear God, I know I am a sinner. I need Your forgiveness and grace. I believe that Christ paid the penalty for my sin, and He died in my place, and He rose from the dead. I invite Jesus Christ to come into my life as Savior. Thank You for saving me from my sin and making me Your child. Help me to grow and learn how to serve You. Amen.