“WHEN I AM JEALOUS” By Pastor YAU
Text: 1 Samuel 18:6-12 March 16, 2014
1) These happened in the world: News report of a murder committed by a young teenager in another country: A 13 years old boy smashed open the head of his best friend while they were playing video game, because he was jealous of the good look of his friend and the attention he got from girls.
Another case of tragedy happened in this country: A 9 years old girl hanged herself in their bathroom a few months after the birth of her baby brother. She told her parent she was jealous of the attention her baby brother got and she wanted to die. The parents had consulted pediatric psychologist and got advice on how to handle the situation, it was too late to stop the girl from killing herself.
2) These happened in the Bible: Two brothers offered sacrifice to God, one of them got God's approval but the other didn't. Instead of finding out the reason why God didn't accept his offering and tried to do things right next time, he got so jealous and killed his brother. (Genesis 4:3-8)
A young man volunteered himself, taking on a huge risk on his own life, to fight the arch enemy of his king and slain that enemy. Upon his triumphant return, he met with a cheerful celebration from the people that drew jealousy of the king. Instead of rewarding the young man for his bravery the king became suspicious and tried to kill the young man. Because of his jealousy, the spirit of God left him and the devil came to disturb him that he became a lunatic in his heart, mind and actions. (Read today's text)
THE NATURE OF JEALOUSY: Just list a few for reference.
1) Jealousy comes from the devil: “If you harbor bitter envy (jealousy) and selfish ambition in your hearts... this does not come down from heaven but is earthly, from the fresh and the devil.” (James 3:14-15) Here the Bible clearly states that jealousy comes from the devil to our selfish earthly fresh. Anytime we when we are feeling jealous, we need to know Satan is working in our heart to capture a foothold that may lead to disastrous calamity.
2) Jealousy is a serious sin: “Jesus went on: What come out of a man is what makes him unclean. For from within, out of a man's heart, comes evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy.....” (Mark 7:20-22) Jesus list Jealousy among some of the worse sins in his teaching in the Sermon of the Mount. Many of us would agree that sins like sexual immorality, murder, adultery are serious sins, but Jesus listed jealousy with all the above. Never under estimate the evil power of jealousy.
3) Jealousy had ruined lives: “A heart of peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” (Proverbs 14:30) Jealousy can ruins life on both side: the one who is jealous and the object of his jealousy. Look at how the lives of King Saul and David were ruined because of Saul's jealousy against David. This is true everywhere in every situation. Jealousy doesn't just hurt the one who is jealous, but also the one the jealousy is focused at.
4) Jealousy can be murderous: “Then the chief priest and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. What are we accomplishing, they asked. Here is this man performing many miraculous signs. If we let him go on like this, all the people will believe in him, then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation....So from that day on they plotted to take his life.” (John 11:47-48, 53) The power base at the time of Jesus was so jealous of the good work Jesus had done and the popularity among the people which had direct impact to the priests and Pharisees, those who had the power and all the benefits, so, they become so jealous that they resorted to murder.
REASONS BEHIND JEALOUSY: A few suggestions for reference:
1) Jealousy due to threats: “Saul was very angry this refrain galled him: They have credited David with tens of thousands bu me with only thousand. What more can he get but the kingdom. From that time on Saul kept a jealous eyes on David.” (1 Sam 18:8-9) Saul became jealous because he felt the threat that David may someday take over his kingdom. Saul wasn't jealous of anyone else who didn't pose any threat to his position as king but David. Either real or imagined, threat is a major cause of jealousy.
2) Jealousy due to competition: This is true at home, in work place, in school and personal relationship. Due to limited resources, time, attention, favor or any other human selfish nature, people in close environment become jealous of each other in competition. We won't be jealous of people far away from us but those who are in our inner circle and in direct competition for favor, attention, promotion or benefits.
3) Jealousy due to suspicion: David never had any intend of taking over the kingdom from Saul, but Saul was very suspicious of David. Saul wasn't just suspicious of David, he was also suspicious of his own son Jonathan and the priest Ahimelech and murdered all his family and people of his town Nob. (1 Sam 22:11-19) In fact, Ahimelech had nothing to do with Saul's accusation. He was completely innocent but was murdered by the king who was engulfed in unsubstantiated suspicion.
4) Jealousy due to possessiveness: This is more evident in love relationship among family, dating, in-law and other relational situation. We all want to have total control of love, time, attention and affection from those we love. It is from the root of selfishness and the desire to control others. When that 9 years old girl lost her total possession of her parents' attention, time and love, her jealousy boiled to her committing suicide. Husbands often become target of possession between his mother and his wife. Wives are easily jealous when they feel their husbands are close to other women for real or imagined.
5) Jealousy due to inferior complex: If we are not doing as well as another person, we can become jealous of the success of him and we may do sneaky things to hurt, demonize or destroy others. In parable Jesus told his disciples: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away.” (Matt 13:24-25) Any time we are tempted to jealous of the success of others, we are to be encouraged to do better and more so we may be as successful instead of trying to destroy and demean the success of others. Some may believe if I can't be successful, at least I can bring other down to my level. That is a cheap way to live.
SUGGESTIONS TO OVERCOME JEALOUSY:
1) Be honest we are human: “What a wretched I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24) No one may completely eliminate the sinful nature of jealousy or the urge of being jealous. This is part of being human and it will be a battle we need to fight everyday with all our power. If we can be honest to admit that we were born with that evil nature, we may be more capable of detecting and correcting our mindset and action of jealousy. Before we point a finger at someone else on this sin, it s better we point 4 fingers on ourselves that we are the first person who needs confession.
2) Be aware of destruction: “For jealousy is the rage of a man, therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.” (Proverbs 6:34) The destructive power of jealousy is beyond anyone's control. People who are controlled by the emotion of jealousy could do lots of destruction and harm which he won't do in normal condition. Think of the consequence of jealousy before you act.
3) Focus on God given purpose: Saul was installed king of Israel for the purpose of saving them from the hands of the Philistines, not for his personal ambition or glory and he understood that mission, admitted that he wasn't worthy of the position. (1 Sam 9:21) If he continued to focus on the mission of his position, he won't be so jealous of David and won't do all those terrible things that eventually brought down his kingdom by himself, not David. Any time when we face the temptation of jealousy, go back to the purpose of God in your life and focus on doing what God wants you to do and do it well.
4) Overcome jealousy with love: “Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous.” (1 Corinth 13:4) When we truly love a person, we want to see the best of him and for him. We will rejoice with him for his success, promotion and glory. It is love that bridge us with joy to that person on all his accomplishments. We will not jealous of anything good happens to him. Even if he has done wrong things, love can cover, forgive all the wrongs. “Love does not keep record of wrong.” (13:5) If we can expand our heart to love more, deeper, we may be able to eliminate many temptations of jealousy.