God says, “Love is patient and kind. Love knows neither envy nor jealousy…” 1 Corinthians 13:4. (Weymouth New Testament) It appears that love and jealousy are mutually exclusive. In view of Valentine’s Day, a time we proclaim love for one another, I’d like to focus on the brand of jealousy which destroys love. Jealousy tends to dominate, in that it comes from an attitude of possessiveness of another person, and therefore stifles the other person’s freedom to choose. That kind of jealousy destroys freedom because it seeks to always control.
Now we might expect such negative behavior from our pets. My wife and I carried our Shih tzu 135 miles this past New Year’s Day to visit our son and his family. It was necessary for my daughter-in-law to isolate their dog from ours, why? Because of jealousy. Her dog would surely fuss and whine in the presence of ours, fearing that she was losing her owner’s loyalty and affections. Does a dog think like that? I don’t know, but we do know animals can show the negative emotion of jealousy. We expect such behavior from our pets and find it somewhat amusing. But possessive behavior in adults is not at all humorous; it is destructive.
Jealousy rising up in humans causes a spirit of distrust, arrogance, verbal abuse, revenge and divorce. It can lead to a Christian’s backsliding and ultimately isolation of oneself, alienating friendships. I’m afraid we’ve have all seen the husband who demands to know his wife’s every move – “How come you are late getting home?” The questions continue, “Where have you been and who were you with?” And then there’s the accusing wife, “I saw the way you looked at that woman!” Or, “When you are around her, you laugh and act silly!” And so the painful wrangling goes.
Jealousy is a dangerous negative emotion. It destroys love. All followers of the Lord Jesus Christ affirm that “God is love,” so this type of jealousy is not of God or from God. It is from the wicked one. Jesus taught that, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). The devil hates happy relationships, he comes to steal joy and then kill that bond all together; a stronghold of jealousy is just one of his tools.
Christian let’s do this: If you detect a stronghold of jealousy within yourself, confess it as a serious sin and renounce it, asking the Lord to forgive and put it behind you. Let this Valentine’s Day be a pivotal point, a new beginning, “Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.”
For those who have never met Jesus the Prince of Peace, let Valentine’s Day 2021 be the day when you acknowledge that you need a loving Savior to rescue you from sin and guilt. Simply ask the Lord Jesus to forgive you and come into your life. It is a decision you will never regret.