The Lost VirtueIn what common circumstances are you most impatient?
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[Rachel] became jealous of her sister (v.1).
You know the feeling—the jolt of recognition. Could
it be? You inhale. Why, that’s so-and-so from high
school! She grew her hair out, and now she’s a
blonde! Somehow, the Internet has made it possible
for you to contact her. But, should you open that door?
How would it make your wife feel? Recent studies show
that one popular social website may be “fueling wild
flights of jealous investigation, as users in relationships
. . . scramble to find evidence of a partner’s unfaithful
thoughts or behavior.”
The Bible says jealousy is even more dangerous than
anger and wrath (Proverbs 27:4). It’s hazardous because
it stokes our cravings for worldly things and our desires
for others, rather than for God. Left unchecked, it may
even take us away from Him.
Jealousy brought Rachel to a state of desperation.
After she and her sister Leah married the same guy, Leah
had several babies. When Rachel realized she couldn’t
have kids, “she became jealous of her sister” (Genesis
30:1). Desperate for an infant of her own, she issued this
ultimatum to Jacob: Give me children, or I’ll die!
Things went from bad to worse. The baby tally was
three to zip with Leah in the lead, when Rachel said to
Jacob, “Take my maid, Bilhah, and sleep with her. She will
bear children for me” (v.3). When the hired help birthed
two sons, Rachel commented: “I have struggled hard with
my sister, and I’m winning!” (v.8)—evidence that jealousy breeds competition.
We can guard against jealousy. Fortunately, we don’t have to squelch our
strong desires; we just have to redirect them toward God. When we can say
to Him, “I desire You more than anything on earth” (Psalm 73:25), jealousy
will not rule our relationships.
—Jennifer Benson Schuldt
How might jealousy ruin relationships? How does knowing that “love is not
jealous” change your thinking about the people in your life?
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