Godly Jealousy

jealousy_scrabble2 Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

I have counseled with two young men recently who told me “yes, I have a problem with jealousy.” I know people have differences of opinions here, but I have seen that a “problem” with jealousy can cause insecurity, anxiety, and lead to major problems in a marriage. When jealousy isn’t kept in check, imaginations (which we wrote about yesterday) begin to come to play, and then unnecessary conflicts result. We see that there is wrong kind of jealousy.

We also see that there is also a godly jealousy. The definition of jealousy is intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness – real or perceived.” The motive behind jealousy determines what kind of jealousy it is. In this passage, Paul’s jealousy is a godly one because it was driven by a fear of a rivalry, or lack of faithfulness, to God.

There are three areas godly jealousy might apply in my life. The first is in me individually. God is a jealous God. He doesn’t want anything to take His rightful place as preeminent in my life. Might I examine and see if I have given reason for a “Godly” jealousy through things, people, or philosophies that have made their way into my life. Secondly, is in my family. Aside from the real possibility of putting my family on a pedestal where the Lord should be, might I examine and see if there is anything in the lives of my family that might or should cause a godly jealousy. And thirdly, there may be a godly jealousy in the lives of those we serve in ministry. This is where Paul was. Might we challenge, exhort, and admonish our people to keep the Lord in His rightful place – preeminent – without things (work, children, money, hobbies, things), taking His place. If we will be jealous, let it be with a godly jealousy, that we might present ourselves, our family, and our people as “chaste virgins” to Christ.

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