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People that are prone to intense jealousy or possessiveness often harbour feelings of inadequacy or inferiority and have a tendency to compare themselves to others. Jealousy, at its core, is a byproduct of fear, fear of not being good enough, fear of loss.

In a world where material wealth and professional success serve as the benchmarks for happiness, jealousy invokes sadness and anger at others’ good fortune. When jealousy becomes consuming, a path of destruction and broken relationships are left in its wake. What jealousy fails to recognize, however, is that all gifts are apportioned by God according to His all-knowing wisdom. Alistair Begg teaches that jealousy is sinful, breeds a destructive spirit, and must be brought before God in repentance.

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Well then, jealousy is able to do a number of things. It can decimate a friendship, dissolve a romance, destroy a marriage, shoot tension through the ranks of professional sports, nullify unity on a basketball team, foster bitterness in a family, create havoc in a dorm, and fragment relationships on just about every front. For jealousy is profound in its impact; hence Solomon’s statement there in the fourth verse: “Anger is cruel,” he says, “fury [is] overwhelming”—but he’s sort of going up the line—“but,” he says, “Who can stand before jealousy?”

The great danger is that you become paralyzed by the sideways jealous glance rather than the straightforward gaze of wholesomeness and thankfulness.

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Now, we live in a very competitive world. We understand that. Indeed, you have come into a very competitive environment. And academically it will prove to be a competitive environment. Many of you will have come from fairly small high schools in which you have perhaps been quite successful, and you’ve assumed that your level of success there is now about to be matched by your level of success here. Unfortunately, the pond into which you have now come is filled with a significant number of goldfish who are equally bright and in some cases even brighter. You’ve never experienced this before because in the environment from which you’ve come you’ve managed always to stay just in that percentile that allows you to hold your head high. And now you’re going to be looking over your shoulder. Now you’re going to be looking sideways in a way that you have never perhaps done before.

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The Characteristics of Jealousy

You and I have a problem with jealousy if we cannot rejoice in the success of others.

Characteristic number one: jealousy can’t stand it when others are doing better. And you and I have a problem with jealousy tonight, right out of the chute, if we cannot rejoice in the success of others—if we cannot honestly, gut-level, heart-consistency say, “Well done. It was a good paper. It was well written. It was a great goal. It was a great…” whatever it was. If we find ourselves merely saying that, sort of squeezing it out—“Yes, that was very nice indeed. Yes, I liked it very much,” and inside we’re going, “Stink! I hate her!”—we got a problem with jealousy. Okay?

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Secondly—and it’s a correlative of it—jealousy is sad at the happiness of others. Jealousy is sad at the happiness of others. If you find yourself, in a context in which people are very happy, going into your little insular mode—you know, over in the corner, having a little sub party by yourself, taking the higher ground of “These people are superficial” and “I don’t know why they’re all so happy”—one of the reasons may be because you’re just unprepared to enter into the happiness of others, and you’re actually, in some weird way, jealous of the fact that they’re having such a wonderful time. And they want you to join them and have a wonderful time! They don’t want you to sit in the corner and draw attention to yourself. And a sense of dissatisfaction with who we are or what we have will breed that notion in us.

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Jealousy makes us hostile towards those who have never harmed us. Now, be dead honest: Have you ever had the experience of looking across a room and going, “You know what? I can’t stand that guy.” Right? “I’d like to… You know what? I hope I play soccer against him, ’cause I’d like to drill him right into the sidelines.” The guy’s just standing there, just a normal guy, just going about his business, and here I’m over here, I’m filled with animosity and hostility towards this person. And he never did a thing to me!

The fourth thing I would say is this: that it is as cruel as the grave and may seek to bring about the ruin of the one envied. But Genesis 4, Cain and Abel—there’s your illustration of that. It is as cruel as the grave and may seek to bring about the ruin of the one who is envied.

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And the fifth and the final characteristic that I would point out is this: that it fails to recognize that God knows what he’s doing in apportioning gifts. See, jealousy fails to recognize or accept that God knows what he’s doing in apportioning gifts—that your DNA is divinely planned. The way your nose is set on your face is to order. The fact, chaps, that you’ve got one eye that goes here and one eye that goes there—I’m sorry, but that’s the way he planned it.

You will actually be less than God intends for you to be unless you get victory over jealousy.


The Consequences of Jealousy

  1. It Is an Incredibly Power Emotion That Can Make You A Criminal

You have to be extremely careful not to let that emotion overpower you when it comes to decision making. This is because jealousy is one of the most powerful emotion that can make us lose control when you are continuously fed with the same thought about losing something.

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Jealousy can make you take decisions in life that you will regret your entire life. They blind you with thoughts that are self-inflicted and make you look at the world through distorted lenses. It has a lot to do with self-esteem that you would want to uphold. Under the influence of such, many people actually follow the wrong path in order to get what they want, or take revenge in some cases. They make you do things that you didn’t think you were capable of – from arson to murder. How evil.

  1. It Will Affects Your Health

Healthy jealousy drives good competition. But sometimes, things get a little too over and you sink deeper into the competitive nature of everything. A jealous person is fearful of losing out to people. Hence, they would tend to be overly suspicious of many things and inflict a fair share of tension and stress to themselves to ensure they surpass others. This would ultimately affect health and thus give rise to many health problems such as heart attacks, headaches, migraine and many more.

Moreover, negative thoughts that are usually self-inflicted would develop you into an over sensitive person who is prone to depression and anxiety, making you mentally ill as well Hence, jealousy can wear you out both mentally and physically and that is why you should try to keep it under control.

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  1. It Can Destroy Relationships

Be it friendship or relationship, jealousy tends to occur.

Getting a perfect partner in a relationship is a big challenge. If you are lucky to have gotten one, things can turn out to be slightly tricky with a tinge of jealousy somewhere in the relationship. Jealousy will inculcate a fear of losing your partner and it will then start affecting the trust you have built throughout the process and gives you a negative vibe to everything. It is the grave of affection.

Jealousy can also destroy friendships when you get jealous about things that your friends are excelling better to you. This is especially when someone close to us gets what we want but not ourselves. You can feel bad about it, but never let it get over you as it could just ruin the friendship.

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  1. It Can Also Affect Your Career

Jealousy at the workplace for other colleagues can affect your career in a bad way. While it gives you the drive to put in your best every single time, it can also lead to unethical acts like trying to outshine others using unscrupulous methods. Your competitive nature that is fed by jealousy would make people avoid you – for they are afraid that they would be your next victim, and you end up having no friends at work.

  1. It Leaves You Alone

If you are a jealous person, then chances are that you will be left all alone in the end because no one would be interested in your company as they do not want to be the victim of your next jealousy act. You will have no one to share your feelings of jealousy with anymore, as friends are sick of hearing how you are going to take down that other friend who had done better than you in the finals.

Jealousy will take all the people who love you, away from you, leaving you alone. Thus, it is a vicious emotion that can ruin your life unknowingly.

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