THE JAILHOUSE OF JEALOUSY

Calvin S. Metcalf      Jealousy is a terrible curse on the human personality.  It has a devastating effect upon our self opinions.  Jealousy arises out of a deep dissatisfaction with who we are and what we have.  It keeps us searching endlessly for that which we think can make us complete.  When we see what we think we want and someone else has it, we resent the fact that somehow life has denied us and favored another.  It is a terrible way to live because we never know the joy of contentment.
     A good relationship with others is often hindered because we are continually in competition with anyone who has what we think we want.  Friendships are fractured at the slightest hint we are losing ground in the race to be most successful.  Fellowship with the Father is affected by our need to test His willingness to get us what we think we want.  We often blame God for our lagging status, since our egos are ill-equipped to accept any personal fault for out lot in life.
     Jealousy is a subtle sin which, even if detected, we find difficult to confess.  None of us wants to admit we are jealous, yet it is one of our most obvious weaknesses.  Because who we are, what we do, and what we have consumes so much of us, our jealousies cannot be completely hidden.  They become a part of our personality as they determine the tone of our behavior.  We may think that jealousy is a minor flaw in our humanity, but in reality it furnishes much of the fuel for every sin in our lives.  To honestly analyze our most devious iniquities is to discover the far-reaching effects of our jealous nature. 
     Our only hope out of this jail of jealousy in which we find ourselves incarcerated is to seek the mind of Christ.  Our Lord taught us by word and deed that self-worth is determined more by what we give up than what we get.  Once we move from self to sacrifice, jealousy loses much of its power over us.  When our competitive spirits give way to a genuine hunger and thirst for righteousness, we lose our need to feel superior toward anyone.  The cross of Jesus becomes not only a symbol of our faith, but a lesson on how to find our lives by losing them.
     Jealousy does not have to dominate our dispositions if the servant-hood of Jesus is our model.  In the development of our own servant-hood, we may learn to like ourselves enough to like those of whom we have been jealous.  A Godly self-worth is the key to unlock the jail of a jealous mentality.

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