Overcoming Jealousy

Overcoming Jealousy

We are completely hidden in Christ and given access as believers – it is not that bad stuff doesn’t happen to us, but rather the ecosystem of the Kingdom resides within us.

    “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.” Luke 7:21

All hell can be going on around us but we can be asleep like a baby in the boat because we are conscious of the environment within.

The only access the enemy has is that which we open up to Him.

We have begun to look at three equal Opportunity Destroyers: Unforgiveness, Jealousy and Managing Disappointment.

Today I want to look at jealousy. 

Jealousy Definition:

It is complex to define.

  • The fear of another’s success
  • Threatened self esteem
  • Resentment towards the superior status of a revival or friend
  • It is hostility towards a rival or one believed to enjoy an advantage 
  • It is the fear of being supplanted

Feeling or showing an envious resentment of someone or their achievements, possessions, or perceived advantages. (English Oxford Dictionary)

Usage in the New Testament

zēlos = Envy/Jealousy

(Appears 17 times)

Can be good or bad

So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts. 1 Cor 12:31 

For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ. 2 Cor 11:2

For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. James 3:16

Phthonos = Envy/Jealousy

Always used negatively except on one occasion  

(Appears 17 times)


Jealousy as revealed in the Bible

A. Lucifer Jealous of God

12 “How you are fallen from heaven,

    O shining star [Lucifer], son of the morning!

You have been thrown down to the earth,

    you who destroyed the nations of the world.

13 For you said to yourself,

    ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars.

I will preside on the mountain of the gods

    far away in the north.

14 I will climb to the highest heavens

    and be like the Most High.’

According to both the Christian and Jewish understanding of these verses, the King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar II, is condemned in a prophetic vision by the prophet Isaiah and is called the “Morning Star” (planet Venus).

Many theologians also believe that the fall of Lucifer is alluded to in these verses.

Lucifer is a Latin word which means “Bringer of Light”.

Elsewhere Satan is referred to as the Angel of Light (2 Cor 12:14).

– He is the first among angels.

– Lucifer – the chief worshipper. Possibly a Cherabim.

– He was responsible for handing worship to God. He kept some himself because of jealousy.

Satan was the originator of jealousy. That’s why, as we are going to see, jealousy more than many other sins has so much of Satan’s breath on it.

B. Adam and Eve

1 The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”

2 “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. 3 “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”

4 “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. 5 “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

Gen 3

And what does the Lucifer, the jealous one, do to God’s first image-bearers, he tempts them with jealousy, “You can be like God”.

C. Cain and Abel

4 Abel also brought a gift—the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, 5 but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected.

6 “Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? 7 You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”

8 One day Cain suggested to his brother, “Let’s go out into the fields.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him.

Genesis 4

Adam and Eve’s first kids suffer from jealousy. We call it sibling rivalry!

Both of them offer a sacrificial offering to God.

One of the offerings is acceptable, the other is not acceptable.

  • Fruit of the ground that had been cursed – rejected
  • Covering for sin – accepted

Cain, whose offering is rejected by God, is super jealous of his brother and his jealousy burns so deeply in him that it results in him murdering his brother. 

God warns Cain of what is emerging in his heart.

“Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”” Gen 4:7

What is missing in our translations is that in the original language it gives the impression of his sin being like a demon ready to pounce upon him.

*** “Full grown jealousy gives birth to death.”

C. David and Saul

6 When the victorious Israelite army was returning home after David had killed the Philistine, women from all the towns of Israel came out to meet King Saul. They sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals. 7 This was their song:

“Saul has killed his thousands,
and David his ten thousands!”

8 This made Saul very angry. “What’s this?” he said. “They credit David with ten thousands and me with only thousands. Next they’ll be making him their king!” 9 So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.

10 The very next day a tormenting spirit[b] from God overwhelmed Saul, and he began to rave in his house like a madman. David was playing the harp, as he did each day. But Saul had a spear in his hand, 11 and he suddenly hurled it at David, intending to pin him to the wall. But David escaped him twice.

12 Saul was then afraid of David,

1 Sam 18

Jealousy can make you paranoid and make you insane.

*** Jealousy opens the door to the demonic


D. Jesus was crucified because the Jews were jealous

[Pilate] knew very well that the religious leaders had arrested Jesus out of envy.
Matthew 27:18

Summary observations

  • Jealousy was behind original sin
  • It was motivated by the jealous one
  • It can make you paranoid
  • Jealousy opens you up to the demonic

How to get past jealousy

1. Own it

Own its presence in your life, don’t deny it. 

It won’t help you by pretending “I’m not feeling jealous.”

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it’s a duck. Telling people how much we love or admire the person we resent is a bunch of bull and is masking our sin, which allows it to grow into a monster in our lives.
Kris Vallotton

If we have a stronghold of jealousy in our lives we need to wage war against that spirit. Don’t give your mind permission to compare yourself with them.

2. Get freedom

Forgiveness breaks the power of sin in your life

  • We are pre-forgiven for everything, past, present and future. Sin for the believer is not a salvation issue.
  • However, when we sin we re-enslave ourselves to the Devil

Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.
Rom 6:16

3. Grow up

We need to change our mind sets around jealousy

*** If forgiveness breaks the power of sin in your life, then repentance sets you on a new course that you won’t re-entangle yourself.

We need to change our mindsets that resulted in us getting entangled.

 You need to know what you where believing.

Possible lies:

  • I am what I have >> I am not significant
  • God doesn’t care for me
  • God won’t meet all my needs >> God is not good!

We need to recognize jealousy is a symptom of immaturity.  

The older brother in the prodigal son story had access to everything and yet had an immature mindset that kept him imprisoned, and set him up for jealousy. Jealousy is an indicator that we have pauper mindsets. You just don’t know who you are… 

‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours.
Luke 15:31

God has given us His nature. It is our responsibility to cultivate it in our lives that it is fully manifested. We need to grow up, and exercise self control… There is no excuse for sin in a Christian’s life. If I was compelled to do something it shows me that I am believing a lie. The fruit of the Spirit is self control. If you have no control, it means you have given it over to someone else.  

4. Thankfulness 

I have learnt to be content with what I have.

12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.
Phil 4:12

5. Destroying poverty mentalities

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

Mat 6:33

‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours.
Luke 15:31

6. Being heavenly minded not earthly minded

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your[a] life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

Col 3:1-4

You have stepped out of the matrix!


Other Sermons In This Series

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