I was talking with my friend the other day about jealousy, I realized later that I might have offered conflicting viewpoints. This got me thinking that I should try define what jealous is and how it affects me. (side note: I didn’t figure it out…surprise. I am flawed so TLDR: seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Yet, I actually like this mulling over of the concept.)
Just as a point of reference to myself the conflict I found was:
A: Jealousy is like a texture of grief that a mind suffers when one finds disparity in emotional attention between what is loved (IE. one person loving another) and the loved expending emotional energy elsewhere, or not spending it at all.
B. No one person is capable of supplementing all emotional/psychological/physical needs short of Christ. Which could mean that people who don’t fall under the category of Savior have no place being jealous since they, due to their own failings, must expect needs to be sought out and accommodated elsewhere.
God has a holy jealousy. This is crucial and interesting because it is only one of the Ten Commandments that God explains His personal reason behind it, “For I, the Lord thy God am a jealous God.” (Exodus 20:4b). God elaborates on other commandments but those are for human clarification. For God, jealousy is an intimate reaction, a natural occurrence from the creator of all reality and existence.
Is jealously wrong? No but it is a emotional warning sign. Just like being sleepy could be a sign that you are simply tired from the day but if it persists you could be ill, the body is you warning something is going on and you to slow down to handle it. Jealousy works in the same way but I don’t find myself so emotionally in touch to discern this feeling without first comparing to things I know to be signs of spiritual illness, sin, in my life. The are major sins I need check in within the feeling of jealousy are: coveting, guilt, envy, greed, and majorly lust.
This brings up the primary argument I hear against jealousy, “humans are creatures who have physical needs” but what isn’t any internal process a valid one? Yes we need to be weary of latching our identity too close to any one aspect of psyche but relationships brought to the point of jealously surely have to be equally revered as sexual identity, a condition of psychological disposition admittedly defended in our day and age. Yet then one aspect of this popular culture turns to against its own posturing, mincing and sniping pieces of hardwiring with al’ carte flippancy. Jealousy is natural condition, or rephrased to fit the times, jealousy is organic experience that serves to as emotional safeguard in the just same way that blood clots to seal a wound.
So where and when is jealously wrong? Well I think that it must be when it is used to protect a mental disposition that is unhealthy and the most unhealthy disposition that we can abide, and that we in American culture do all the time in grievance to the Lord is the idolatry of self. We are grow angry through a lack of worship directed toward ourselves, that is unhealthy jealousy. When the other pieces of the body of Christ that is His church turn from him to bow to each other that is a type of jealously that is cancerous.
That’s why, like all things, right jealousy is only found, for us humans, in Christ. Only in the act worship toward the one true God, through his Son, are we able to approach the emotional tool set that is staggerly complex, beautiful, joyful and powerful which exist in our minds available for action and reaction. Let us not forget that the pinnacle of our existence is as dust of earth crying to for our Father in worship, and the craftsman shaped such dust into the jars of His own making so as to retain a portion of His spirit which is metered out in infinite quantity. That would bow before other in an attempt to cuckold the Creator of reality causing grieving and angry jealousy is, as Jeremiah and Isaiah would have agreed, is a bad idea.