James 3:16-18 – “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” NKJV
John 3:16-17 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” NKJV
William Penn wrote, “The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves.” Oliver Stone said, “Never underestimate the power of jealousy and the power of envy to destroy. Never underestimate that.” Both are powerful statements and then when we read in Song of Solomon 8:6 – “Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death, Jealousy as cruel as the grave; its flames are flames of fire, a most vehement flame.” In numerous passages of scripture we find a theme and thread of understanding that should be an immediate red flag regarding the vicious enemy of ‘Jealousy’ and ‘Envy’. Both are incredibly destructive and virtually always fruit of the same seed.
John 3:16 speaks of the incredible Love of God and man’s salvation as a result. James 3:16 speaks of the wickedness and danger of allowing ‘envy’, ‘jealous’ and/or ‘self-seeking’ to spring up. It is virtually always accompanied by a ‘root of bitterness’ whereby many are defiled with its poison and pollution. In John our Lord offers us hope and in James the apostle warns of a carnal danger if we do not anchor ourselves in the hope of John 3:16.
Jealous and envious people are virtually always miserable and tend to make everyone around them miserable or at least uncomfortable. I had someone tell me that ‘jealousy’ was a wrong focus on others and I said, “No, I believe it is a wrong focus on self.” Yes it is a focus on others but the root is self. It is a woe is me attitude that laments and becomes angry or covetous regarding our lack and someone else’s supply. It shifts the blame for whatever condition, problem or difficulty from any personal responsibility or choice to an external stimuli. It allows self-justification, self-excuse and abdication of responsibility and accountability. That is much easier than adopting the attitude that Jesus suggested when Peter questioned him about John’s ultimate fate. Jesus said, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”
Imagine that! Don’t worry about what someone else has, experiences or does or does not experience. Don’t let that be a cause for envy or jealousy. You deal with you, your situation, your circumstances and your mission in life. In Matthew 6:34 our Lord advised that worry which is an element in jealousy, envy and bitterness should not be a part of our lives. Do not worry about what someone else has or that they are not encountering what you are encountering for each day has enough problems of its own. I am not suggesting that you not care about others but NEVER allow another’s blessings, benefits, gifts, opportunities or victories cause you to become jealous, envious or bitter. That attitude and condition will poison you more than others but will affect all you come in contact with.
Allow John 3:16 to become foundational in your life so you can avoid the ravages of James 3:16. Blessings as you go through this day!