Have you ever heard anyone referred to as a “hot mess?” The Urban Dictionary says the term describes “Someone or Something that is such a mess... the level of it, is off of the charts,” and “A person who is a handful, he/she is a piece of work.” This is a person who may have succumbed to jealousy. 1 Corinthians 13:4b says, “Love is not jealous.” The jealousy referred to here is hot and fueled by envy.
Joseph’s brothers were a “hot mess” when they sold Joseph into slavery. In his speech in Acts 7, Steven explained in verses 9 & 10, “‘These patriarchs were jealous of their brother Joseph, and they sold him to be a slave in Egypt. But God was with him and rescued him from all his troubles.’” They didn’t just grieve because Joseph enjoyed the favor of their father. They sought to usurp that favor for themselves. They personified James 4:1-3. “What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.” How much better it would have gone for the brothers if they would have asked God for His favor. They were jealous of Joseph. They didn’t think to act in the love only God could have given them for their brother.
Jealousy is a big sin with God. Romans 13:13b ranks it right up there with some pretty disgusting sins. “Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy.” Why is it such a big deal to walk in the darkness of jealousy? 1 Corinthians 3:3 explains. “You are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world?” God desires to set us free from the slavery to our sinful nature. As long as we maintain jealousy, we’ll never experience the freedom with Jesus to walk in God’s agape love.
I think jealousy arises out of comparison. When we think we have the wisdom to make comparisons with others we are foolish. 2 Corinthians 10:12:b says, “they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant!” Instead of comparing, which leads to jealousy, we should, “Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.” (Galatians 6:4,5) God wants to tell each one of us, “‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’”(Matthew 25:21) He wants us to celebrate with Him the joy of our faithfulness in following Him on the path He has for each of us. We won’t be celebrating if we compare ourselves to others and become jealous of what they have or accomplish.
The antidote to the hot mess of jealousy is found in Romans 12:15,16. “Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!” In other words, walk in God’s agape love. Don’t be jealous.
Read Jenny's thoughts about the green-eyed monster and hear her song at: http://thefivestages.wordpress.com