When Jealousy Isn’t Sin - Guidelines Devotional

When Jealousy Isn’t Sin

Encouraging Words
November 4, 2019

We usually think of jealousy as being a bad thing—a sin.  On the contrary, you may be surprised to know that the Bible says God Himself is jealous.  But He’s jealous for all the right reasons. You see, God loves you deeply, and when you love someone deeply, you are jealous of anything or anyone who would steal away that love.

In scripture God’s jealousy always relates to people who love someone or something more than they love Him. God warned Moses, “Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14). If I love anything—any person, any activity, any idea more than I love God, He sees this as infidelity or unfaithfulness. God says, “I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts” (Ezekiel 6:9)—hearts that prefer something or someone else to Him.

G. Campbell Morgan says jealousy is a word that is very similar to the word “zealous.”[1] Another synonym is “passionate”—the very opposite of being apathetic or indifferent. That’s how God feels about us. In the vernacular, He’s “crazy about us,” and so, He’s jealous of our love for Him.

Jealousy can be a good thing if it’s for the right reasons. I’m glad to know my husband is jealous of my love—that is, he doesn’t want to share my love with anyone else.  And that’s exactly how God feels about us. His heart is pleased when our love for Him is fervent, real, and passionate!  Not love that evaporates when the heat is on or the events of the day take precedence.

It’s hard to admit that sometimes we do prefer someone or something else to God.  Maybe if we think about that as infidelity and remember how much it hurts the heart of God, we’ll think twice before we choose something instead of our God, who loves us so very deeply. It’s something we need to think about.


[1] G. Campbell Morgan, The Corinthian Letters of Paul (Westwood, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1946), 130.

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