Fighting jealousy...

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Though God is a jealous God, jealousy is not a communicable attribute....

The closest we come to sharing God's jealousy is zeal for Him. God's glory we may seek. God's honor we may promote. God's ownership we may declare. But when we are jealous for ourselves, we sin. 

Our personal jealousy is not like God’s because His jealousy contains no fear or groundless suspicion, nor does it easily arouse His wrath. When we’re suspicious of others, especially spouses, we live in the world of fear. At times there is evidence. More often, the evidence is only in our own minds. We read betrayal into every questionable act. We assume one failure implies deeper and more grievous sins elsewhere.

Our suspicions spring from lack of trust: having been betrayed once, our hearts are steeled against trusting again. My husband failed me… I will not trust him again. A past girlfriend betrayed me… I must zealously guard my wife or she will do the same. My father left my mother for another woman, now I see my husband looking at younger women... He’s going to do the same.

Why should we reject personal jealousy? 

First, suspicion never heals our hearts. Thinking that suspicion can guard our hearts from pain is like thinking that fear of cancer will protect us from cancer. Why live in fear? Isn’t fear itself nearly as bad as the thing we fear? Jealousy colors our lives in pain. It doesn’t protect us, it subjects us to our fears.

Second, when we’re jealous our distrust is not ultimately of man but of God. We do not trust His protection. We will not rest in Him. We are not convinced His control is benevolent.

Third, suspicion goes hand-in-hand with failure to forgive. Instead of forgiving we look for sin--and those who look for sin find it.

How different the jealousy of God. God’s jealousy does not zealously seek out our faults. It isn’t quick to accuse. It covers rather than fears our sin. It anticipates betrayal and seeks to provide us with a way of escape from His wrath.

Satan is “the accuser of the saints.” God covers the sin of His children. He knows our deepest secrets, our failures, and betrayals, yet in love He forgives us and clothes us in His name and glory.

God’s jealousy, unlike ours, knows no fear and so He commands us to reject fear as His children: “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God.”

So much pain would be removed from our lives if we would only recognize the true glory of our calling as sons and daughters of God. So much jealousy would be rendered unnecessary if we would trust God to care for us instead of living in fear.

Finally, jealousy produces the very thing it seeks to prevent. Suspicion and accusation are Satan’s weapons against the saints not because they have power with God, but because they discourage the accused. Satan accuses so that ultimately his accusations will be heard by us, driving a wedge of despair between us and the grace of God.

Accuse your children, your wife, your husband long enough and they will despair of ever pleasing you. Often, they will enact the veryt thing you accuse them of. Through jealousy we create the monsters we fear. Accuse your husband of looking at other women and he will. Accuse your wife of flirting with other men and she will. Accuse your children of sins they are innocent of and they will eventually commit them. Accusations create sin. This is the function of the Law: it accuses and by accusing it creates sin. Our jealousies are more predictive than preventative.

Accusation and suspicion are strategies of Satan. He knows their power. But where the Spirit of God is, there is liberty—the liberty that flows from love and trust and hope and faith.

Fight jealousy. If you don’t, the thing you fear will come to pass.