The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves. ~William Penn
One of my middle school students belongs to a radio-reading club. She and a boy write a script together and then read it to the school over the PA system.
Another girl in the school likes this boy and gives my student “the evil eye” at lunch time. There is nothing for the other girl to be jealous of; my student is in love with her cat and doesn’t seem to have noticed boys yet.
Jealousy is funny like that. It shows up to the party whether or not it was invited.
Paul and Barnabas were passing through Pisidian Antioch and went into the synagogue. During the meeting, the leaders of the synagogue invited them to speak.
Paul and Barnabas told the gathered Jews and Gentiles about Jesus and the free gift of salvation. The people invited the two men to come back and teach the following week.
When the next Sabbath came, nearly the entire city showed up to hear what Paul and Barnabas had to say.
You see it coming, don’t you?
A big green cowboy riding into town on an even greener horse.
The very people who had invited Paul and Barnabas to speak were now filled with jealousy. They began to spread lies about the men. They incited the “popular people” against them and had them run out of town.
They lost the gift and gained the grave.
We can see the error of their ways, but can we see our own?
Do you invite a friend to join your book club but regret it when she becomes the life of the party?
Do you audition with a friend for the local theater and then smirk at every mistake she makes after she gets the lead role?
Or is it more serious than that? Have you hoped your Christian brother or sister would fail? That bad things would happen to them instead of to you for a change? That their children would screw up like yours?
Notice in Acts 13, that it isn’t the jealous synagogue rulers who have a happy ending. It’s the ones who followed Jesus and let others live in the limelight.
But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. James 3:14-16 NIV