A peaceful mind gives life to the body,
but jealousy rots the bones.
What an image! This wisdom saying in Proverbs really got my attention! On the one side is a person with a tranquil and peaceful mind, on the other side is a person full of envy and jealousy. A peaceful mind leads to life and a jealous mind leads to rot and death. So naturally when I read this verse my mind says, “I’m in trouble!” Because envy and jealousy are subtle sins, they sneak up on us and we justify these feelings that are driven by our “never enough” culture.
Today we use jealousy and envy interchangeably. Jealousy is about fear of losing something or someone, envy is about wanting what someone else has and both these emotions lead to unhealthy attitudes and behaviors that lead to illness.
We all feel jealousy, even children. Jealousy comes from fear of loss, and feeling threatened. We’re grasping so tightly onto someone or something that we won’t let go, even if it would be in our best interest. Jealousy is selfishness inflicted on others, and it destroys relationships because at its root, it says “my needs are more important than yours.” Jealousy seeks to have control, and it can escalate to hatred and even murder. Look at what happened when jealousy got out of control with Cain and Abel, or Joseph and his brothers.
Envy comes from comparing ourselves to others. If you want to feel envy or jealousy, just scroll through Facebook or Instagram! Jealousy and envy are rot, not only in our bones, but in our hearts. It’s unhealthy and we need to be vigilant about recognizing it and asking for God’s help to heal from these sins.
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Experiencing a peaceful mind when we’re consumed with jealousy seems impossible, but by practicing the mind of Christ, over time, we can find peace in Jesus. That’s why at the first sign of the “green eyed monster” we pray to God for forgiveness, and receive healing and wholeness. We ask the Holy Spirit to come guide us. We can seek to foster an attitude of gratitude for all Jesus has done for us. We can remember we are a new creation in Christ and that the Spirit is at work developing that fruit of the Spirit, peace.
Are you feeling envy or jealousy? Is this ruining your relationship or causing you unhappiness? Ask God for forgiveness and seek God’s peace.
Prayer: Loving God, forgive us our sins of jealousy and envy. Send your Spirit to develop in us, a peaceful mind. Grant us your peace, which passes all understanding to guide our hearts and minds to safety in Christ Jesus. Amen.