Why You Must Refuse Bitter Jealousy

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Jealousy and envy are defined as the feeling of discontent or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities, circumstances or favor; to feel resentful and unhappy because someone else possesses or has achieved what one wishes to possess themselves.

They were at the root of Satan's rage against God and man in the garden. Imagine, ones made from the dust of the earth, bearing the image of God and given dominion, as a free gift, by the Creator! It was jealousy that caused Satan to rebel against God and jealousy that drove the serpent to make war on the image-bearers. The apostle James, the brother of Jesus, warns us against this satanic root system and the culture that grows under the shadow of jealousy and selfish ambition. Like mold in a wet basement, or like maggots in rotten waste, all kinds of evil grow in this environment.

The term "bitter jealousy" that James used is the Greek word zelos. It is most often translated zeal in the New Testament. It means a harsh, contentious rivalry, excitement of mind, frenzied activity. James coupled it with another interesting Greek word, eritheia, or selfish ambition. This word was used to describe those who electioneer for office, courting popular applause by manipulation and low arts. In modern terms, it is partisan politics. It's a fractious spirit, a desire for power that causes one to scheme, manipulate, lie and deceive. The deadly cocktail of harsh zeal, frenzied activity and fierce rivalry mixed with politicking, a drive for control and a desire for power can have devastating results on the lives of people around it. Where this exists, James said, there will be disorder and every vile practice. In other words, this environment is a greenhouse for foul, base and worthless things to fester and grow. "Do not lie to yourself," James says. Do not think that your unchecked sin issues are not affecting anyone. Do not ignore the fact that your jealousy and ambition are poisoning the waters all around you. Do not justify it in the name of vision, purpose or calling.

Refuse it with all that you have.

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Let's read James 3:14-16 with an expanded understanding of what James was seeking to warn us about:

But if you have a zeal that's harsh toward others, causing you to be jealous of anyone else's success, and have a competing rivalry fueled by selfish ambition, self-promotion, and lust for power in your hearts, do not lie to yourself. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For in the culture where these things exist in the leadership, there will be confusion, disorder, instability, and a greenhouse for morally degrading and worthless practices (author's expanded translation).

Hell has been full of discord since the beginning, and so are those in agreement.

Jealousy will fuel the spirit of murder in us against our brother and sister when God's favor rests on them.

Cain grew angry when the Lord had regard for his brother's offering. God asked him why he was angry that favor was given to his brother. Why couldn't Cain celebrate when his brother did well?


Cain had a choice; rule over jealousy or let it rule you. We are all aware of what happened next. ...

Read the rest of this article at mapsglobal.org and listen to Destiny Destroyers: Refusing Jealousy on MAPS Global on the Charisma Podcast Network, as R.A. Martinez explores what might be the most destructive of the three destiny destroyers.

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