Jealousy Ruled My Heart!

The days are getting warmer around here. It’s still cold enough when I leave for work that I need my overcoat, but if I go out mid-day I end up leaving my coat in the car.

Today I threw on my overcoat as I stepped across the street to get a cup of coffee. At the bottom of the courthouse steps I passed a guy about my age. He had on shorts and flip-flops.

I had on a wool overcoat.

He had shorts and flip-flops.


Shorts and FLIP-FLOPS!

Jealous? Me?

Maybe a little … or a lot … all over.

Jealousy – you can’t beat it!

I admit that I was a bit jealous. Perhaps even covetous. Not of his clothes themselves. I have plenty of shorts and a good enough pair of flip-flops.

No, it was of his situation. This was a beautiful day, and he got to be outside in the sun while I was working inside in a tie and slacks.

Of course, he might have in turn been jealous of my situation, who knows?

The Bible warns against coveting, of course. Jealousy, too. These things can really hurt. They mess up relationships, they lead to theft and violence, they put the brakes on growing as a child of God.

But I say you can’t beat jealousy.

This is what the Lord Almighty says: “I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her.”

This is what the Lord says: “I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City, and the mountain of the Lord Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain.”

This is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will save my people … and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God.” (Zechariah 8:2-3, 7-8.)

And God continues to be jealous for his people under the New Covenant. (James 4:5.) It’s part of the gospel, the good news about Jesus Christ. When you’re his, God won’t let anyone take you away from him.

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.  I and the Father are one. (John 10:28-30.)

God jealously holding on to me forever? Now that’s the kind of jealousy I can live with.

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25 Responses to Jealousy Ruled My Heart!

  1. lauradroege says:

    Great post! A while back, a guy at Starbucks struck up a conversation with me about the Bible and Jesus. He obviously wasn’t a Christian and had tons of questions. He said something along the lines of, “And what’s up with God being jealous? I don’t get that.” Fortunately, my current Bible study had just covered God’s jealousy and so I was able to sort-of, kind-of explain. This post reminded me of that situation, and made me remember how cool it was that I was prepared to talk about a reality that, honestly, I don’t think about very often.

    But…shorts and flip-flops?! Now I’m jealous! It’s still in the forties here!

    • Aimee Byrd says:

      Laura, it’s so affirming to have someone providentially question you after a study. It’s encouraging to keep learning.

    • Tim says:

      Like Aimee said, Laura, it’s awesome to see how God sets you up for success in talking to the people he puts in your life. What a blessing for you and for the guy you talked to!

      On the weather front, I hate to say it but it’s also getting to where I don’t need as many layers when I go our to run in the morning before work. Today was proof of that, since I tried running in my usual cold weather gear and was roasting by the time I got home. Don’t’ worry though, when it hits 108 here in the summer, you’ll probably be glad for your own climate!

  2. Jeannie says:

    Yeah, I’m jealous (envious?) too. It’s snowing here.

    A few weeks ago at church, a guest speaker was discussing idols, and he said, “Karen and I have been married for 25 years. Now, how many girlfriends do you think it’s OK for me to have? Raise your hand if you think one is OK….how about three?…how about five or more?” He had us laughing, but his point was a good one. The kind of jealousy that insists on no other lovers outside marriage is totally appropriate jealousy — and God doesn’t want us to have any other gods “on the side” either. His jealousy is for our own good, all because of His love. Thanks Tim!

  3. Aimee Byrd says:

    Tim, I’m the wrong kind of jealous about your nice weather. My painted toes are yearning for flip flops!

    But I’m glad that our Father is a different kind of jealous–pure, righteous, and effective!

    • Tim says:

      Yeah, I’m sure glad I don’t have to hide my pedicure any more. What color are your toes painted. I’m partial to fuchsia, because it goes well with my pasty white skin tone. So does cobalt.

  4. nmcdonal says:

    The other day in a lecture, Dr. Richard Lints said: “Coveting wants to fill empy hands. Envy wants everyone else’s hands to be empty, too.” Jealousy, I guess, is wanting what rightfully belongs in your hands to be there – AKA – God with us.

  5. Word. I struggle with envy ALL. THE. TIME. There are the obvious ways — envying others’ stable, secure financial situations and big houses (I live in an affluent neighborhood, quite by accident, and there are silly small ways — envying others’ apartments or furniture or the way their babies slept through the night and had great naps from 4 weeks or something. God has given us so much. I mean, we LIVE in an affluent neighborhood, even though we can’t afford it really — but God placed us here and our children are very safe and have a HUGE yard to run around in. We HAVE children — there are so many who try for YEARS and never have the chance. There is SO MUCH to be thankful for, and I don’t deserve any of it.

    I think it’s a good point you made about the guy might have been envious of your situation. We only see from our perspectives; if only we could see from God’s perspective all the time.

    • Tim says:

      Great point about only seeing from our perspectives, Rachel. I’m re-reading Emma now and recently got to the point where she tells her father, “That is the case with us all, papa. One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.” Jane Austen was writing of pleasures, but I think the same can be said for hardships and desires. We never know what another person is going through, or what they think would be better circumstances.

  6. Adriana says:

    Jealousy=Miss Bingley discussing Elizabeth in Pride & Prejudice: “For my own part,” she rejoined, “I must confess that I never could see any beauty in her. Her face is too thin; her complexion has no brilliancy; and her features are not at all handsome. Her nose wants character; there is nothing marked in its lines. Her teeth are tolerable, but not out of the common way; and as for her eyes, which have sometimes been called so fine, I never could perceive anything extraordinary in them. They have a sharp, shrewish look, which I do not like at all; and in her altogether, there is a self-sufficiency without fashion, which is intolerable.”

    Jeannie and I were synchro-reading this morning on FB. I thought of this passage as soon as I read your post before dawn. She just left the quote on my Chapter 45 status update! How cool is that?! 🙂

  7. Mary Anne says:

    It’s not coincidental, I think, that whenever Israel goes off after strange “gods” there’s bound to be some mention of spiritual adultery close behind. I’ve read passages where the Lord is grieving over Israel’s infidelity and He says things (in some translations) like, “you went whoring after other gods . . .” Strong language for serious wrongdoing.

  8. I’ve always had jealousy issues, but usually righteous jealousy. . where I would love to pray as certain people I know, or be the type to stretch my arms up to he sky during worship (I’m the dancing type instead), I always got jealous of Rob’s exes and the things they shared with him that I wanted him to forget and replace with me. . .that was the BAD jealousy bit of me and I am an extremely jealous wife.

    Anyway I always loved that God is jealous for us because He made us and made us to worship HIM so it should be all about Him, that when we turn aside to other things and He is jealous for us. . . it is soooooo good of him! I know that I am jealous for the attention of Rob, and because I am his wife, this is a good thing rather than him giving any other woman attention that belongs to me.

    So yeah, anyway. . .I can imagine how incredibly warm it is over there. It was 55 degrees over here last Saturday and we didn’t have jackets on because it was so warm to us, but I am sure you’d be in a coat out there in CA because you are used to warmer weather than us during this time of year.

    I’ve missed your comments on my blog(s). I suppose you are all over the place now though.

    • Tim says:

      55 is warm here too this time of year, Victoria. And I’ll be over at your place tomorrow if all goes according to plan!

      • Ah, okay. I know people in CA think it is cold at 70 degrees, which is insane to me. hehe.
        Which blog you going to today? Rakis Rant or Justice Pirate? Thanks so much. I always love your comments.

        • Tim says:

          People in Northern California deal with rain, sleet, snow, wind, hail, thunder, lightning, and then in the summer it’s 100+ much of the time. Yep, we sure got weather!

        • I guess I always figured it was always warm there. We have everything here. Gets as cold as 0 degrees and as hot as 110. Pretty crazy.

        • Tim says:

          You’re in good company. A lot of people think all of California looks and feels like Los Angeles. I’m hundreds of miles north of there. It’s a big state, huge even.

        • I had a friend for many years who moved in the mountains near the top border of CA and she told me it was always snowy where she was, and she lived in a log cabin and everything. .but I figured the majority of CA was warm.

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