What the Bible Says About: Jealousy and Envy

As a college student, it is not easy to always feel confident and content with yourself and your circumstances. Many people fall into the trap of comparing themselves to others, instead of being pleased with their own unique qualities. Constantly desiring the characteristics, abilities, and valuables of other people results in feelings of sadness and lack of gratitude. While changing this envious mindset is not the simplest task, the Bible gives us a greater understanding of how the Lord wants us to deal with jealousy and envy.

To start off, God uniquely created each of us to have our own looks, characteristics, and personalities. We were created in God’s perfect image. For that, we should have hearts full of gratitude, giving God constant praise for molding us to be exactly as we are. God shaped us differently for a reason. Each of us has our own God-given gifts that we can use to bring glory to Christ. Knowing that God specifically made each of us for a purpose should open our eyes to see that we are complete in Christ. The Lord provides us with what we need to fulfill the plan he has in store for our lives. Because of that promise, we don’t need to be envious of what we do not have. God calls us to be content in every circumstance. Being content and thankful, no matter what, will produce a heart of peace and joy.

While we are told to be grateful and accepting of ourselves and our lives, the Bible also provides insight into the consequences of jealousy and envy. Jealousy is a sin that leads to destruction. Just like idolatry and drunkenness, jealousy is of the human flesh, and anything of the human flesh is corrupt and does not please God. The Holy Spirit has the power to produce good fruit within a believer’s heart if we submit to God and accept him as Lord and Savior. While we may think we have the power to change our thoughts of jealousy, we don’t. The Lord has complete control of our lives, so the only way to limit thoughts of jealousy and envy is to let the Holy Spirit work through us.  By having a softened heart, the Lord can take those burdens onto his shoulders. Knowing that God can help us overcome is such a comforting reminder. Next time you may be struggling with thoughts of envy or jealousy, remember that God has provided you all that you need, and he can help you through those feelings if you give up your life to Him!

Biblical References:

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:14)

“Yet you, Lord, are our father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and every evil practice.” (James 3:16)

“Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:8)

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalms 46:1)