Why I Desire Jealousy to Get a Grip on Me

[From the archives.]

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.

Overcoat.

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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