The Green Eyed Monster

The anatomy of jealousy and envy ~  Luke 17:27-31

27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’”

28 “But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him.

29 But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never 1neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends;

30 but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’”

31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours.’”

First off I want to emphasis this thought seen in verse 31 in the phrase all that is mine is yours. Where we are able to rest in our heart and soul, knowing our place in our Heavenly Father is secure, we are well able to resist thoughts and feelings that come to tempt us to jealousy and envy.  Jealousy and envy are only and always displaced by love.  

Jealousy is defined, which I found very interesting, as thoughts or feelings of insecurity, fear, and concern over a relative lack of possession.  It can either be suspicious or reactive.  These feelings emote anger, resentment, inadequacy, helplessness, disgust.   I think we can all say we’ve tased these.  

Envy is defined as a painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage, or for the other to lack it.  

I found the association of fear and insecurity within the definition of jealousy so interesting and envy just doesn’t want another to be blessed.   We are well aware of the biblical instructions not to allow jealousy and envy to work in us, but personal insecurity gives access to these spiritual forces.  

Change can bring an unsettling to our sense of security, even in those times and areas we are confident in our obedience to the Father’s instruction.  Many of us find ourselves in a place of seasonal transition, but may I remind us all; God takes us from faith to faith, strength to strength and glory to glory.  We are ever increasing in the Kingdom of God, or at least we certainly have the potential to do so.  We can all sit down and feed on the tasty feelings of jealousy and envy and pity ourselves or we can stay rooted and grounded in the love of God and celebrate with the Father everyone’s every obedient act of service displayed.

John the Baptist knew his time and season; Jesus must increase, he must decrease, but at the moment of his imprisonment he is stumbling over his own perceived expectations.  From there, John sent and asked, “Are you the one or do we look for another?”  

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “What do you have that you have not received?” Who are you but a vessel God uses to do His will and purpose?  We are simply a part of a bigger picture and we must honor the individual parts that God honors.  If I do not value and honor the part, I cannot receive what God is saying and doing through that vessel.  So I’m not just rejecting the part (the member of His body) I am in fact rejecting Him.  

Jealous and Envy shut the door on our receptivity.  They are wiles and strategies the enemy uses to bring division, first in our hearts in our relationship with the Father and then with the members of His body.  Note in our verses today, how the son was offended with his Father and then refused to celebrate in the blessing of his brother.  Who really suffered in all this?  

Another’s blessing, exaltation, favour or honour, should show us the goodness of God and His love for us all.  What he does for one displays His character and nature and should encourage our hearts and strengthen the awareness in us, “All that is mine is yours”. 



Right Wisdom

Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.

Galatians 3:6 

I love word studies and while the primary understanding of righteousness is “right standing with God” I want you to consider with me another aspect of this word. 

At its root, this word righteous means right wise or we would say right wisdomHelps Word Studies defines the word as:

1343 dikaiosýnē (from 1349 /díkē, "a judicial verdict") – properly, judicial approval (the verdict of approval); in the NT, the approval of God ("divine approval").

1343 /dikaiosýnē ("divine approval") is the regular NT term used for righteousness ("God's judicial approval"). 1343 /dikaiosýnē ("the approval of God") refers to what is deemed right by the Lord (after His examination), i.e. what is approved in His eyes.

The Amplified bible uses the phrase conformity to the thought and will of God and  His way of doing and being right.  So for righteousness to be displayed in our daily lives, we must start from the premise that God holds right wisdom and is always right.  Then, since God is always right, for us to express righteousness we must choose to agree with Him.  We choose to add yes and Amen to whatever He says AND this must be totally independent of what we see, feel or think!

If righteousness is what is approved in His eyes, what is deemed right by the Lord, then we too, like Jesus, must live daily from a place that first considers what is right in the sight of our Heavenly Father.  The word of God was breathed out by God and is profitable for the training in righteousness, 2 Tim. 3:16. This is the place we begin to live vitally.  We read our bibles, the life in the word is quickened to our hearts and we add our agreement to what God has said.  Our agreement is seen as we hold right thoughts, right words, and right actions.  These three equate to a right standing.  Because we know to do good, and we do it, we are able to stand before the Father without any sense of guilt or condemnation (unrighteousness).  We are not self-righteous because we do not set the standard of right for our lives, God does.  

Jesus said our righteousness must exceed that of the pharisees and Sadducees.  Collectively, these men challenged, questioned, and rejected everything Jesus did and said.  They had no place of agreement with God.

God counted Abraham righteous because He believed what God said was right. This accounting gave him right standing with God.  Abrahams faith is seen in his choice to agree with God.  Believing is agreeing with God.  God is right.  He is always right and to live in a state of righteousness, vitally, daily, we must agree with God.