“A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones” (Proverbs 14:30, NLT).
As our pastor said yesterday, jealousy is the green-eyed monster which, if allowed, will consume us. Nothing good comes from jealousy. It springs up and steals the fulfillment God imparts. It kills the fruit of the spirit. Jealousy crucifies any love, robs our joy, and destroys our peace. Any patience we might have had is gone, because we are never satisfied. Any kindness or goodness we exemplified has departed, because we view another person as someone with whom we compete. We have no self-control of our desire for more—we have no faithfulness that perseveres—we have no gentleness of heart, because we are in a constant state of competition. With jealousy, we have no peace. We have turmoil.
This verse from Proverbs reveals that a peaceful heart gives life. Jealousy is like a cancer that grows out of control, reaches into every facet of our lives, and ultimately destroys us. When our hearts and minds are at rest, we can live in His fullness. There is no striving to have more or be the best at something. We can rejoice with others if they receive a blessing. Our hearts are free to love and not judge. We do not compare, because there is no competition. Without the stress of always comparing and competing—when our hearts and minds are at peace, our spirits are also at peace. There is life. If we are filled with jealousy and are always comparing ourselves to others—if what we have never seems enough—if we feel we are not the best at something, then striving and unrest will kill the body and the spirit.
“I gave you milk,” Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly?” (1 Corinthians 3:2-3a, NIV). How immature are we? Do we still need to be treated as spiritual babies on milk? We need to grow up and walk in the spirit instead of the flesh. Jealousy does not only destroy our spiritual lives; it breeds dissension and division. Jealousy does not only destroy God's ability to work in us; it destroys others. Now is the time to grow up. Instead of allowing jealousy to crucify the Holy Spirit in us, it is time to crucify this green-eyed monster.
If God's love is in us, there is no place for jealousy. Love is patient, and it is kind. Love does not envy. It does not destroy lives. Love builds. Love creates. Love sees the best. Love does not compare, and it does not compete. The time for solid food has come.
© 2017 Lynn Lacher