Beware of jealousy

Chidi Okoroafor


Key Verse: Proverbs 14: 30, “A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like a cancer in the bones.” (KJV)

Jealousy is like cancer in the bones. Jealousy is defined as feeling resentful, bitter, grudging, envious and covetous.Whenever a person is diagnosed with any type of cancer, friends, family and close associates often join with the patient to feel the negative impact that this sickness will have on the patient. All cancer patients wish they did not have any cancerous cell in them. The text today clearly likens jealousy to cancer in the bones. The bones are the skeletal frame of every human being. This emphasises the fact that jealousy attacks every part of anybody’s life, no matter how we try to shield it away. Jealousy breeds hatred, discord, and at times even death.

Jealousy could also breed envy. To envy is to desire something, which belongs to another person. It could be their physical appearance, their job, their success, anything. Envy motivates us to try to achieve or out-perform our neighbour.Solomon in affirming the negative impact of envy said, Ecclesiastes 4:4, “And I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man’s envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”

Genesis 4:3-8: “In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.”

Cain and Abel, the two brothers lived in a comparatively sin-free world as part of the first family. Do you think they had affection for each other? Of course, they did, but one murdered the other because of jealousy. Men are frequently tempted by the lust for honour and recognition. Abel was honoured by God, Cain was not. However, God counseled Cain to beware of jealousy, but Cain still chose to destroy his brother to satisfy the passion of his soul.

Never underestimate the power of this sin if unrestrained in your own heart. We may not murder, but we assassinate the character of others with innuendos, gossip, bad reports, and accusations. It happens every day at home, in the work place, at school, and even in the church. Proverbs 27:4 asked a pertinent question, “Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?”

Jealousy starts in a child at an early age and can last a lifetime; it can wreck the love between two people who thought they were inseparable; it can bring nations to war and the most powerful people to ruin.

On the other hand, our text confirms that instead of jealousy, one should have a peaceful heart in order to have a peaceful and healthy body. When you are jealous of that progressive young pastor, who is your assistant; that progressive spouse of yours; that progressive believer in the church; how the Lord has endowed a child with great spiritual gifts, etc; then you are simply inviting ill-health to yourself. Jealousy causes evil plots to eliminate someone.

Admire the grace and blessings of God on people’s lives and that same God Who did it for them will do it for you. Do not be jealous, only praise God for blessing others and God will in turn bless you.
Today’s Nugget: Jealousy is like cancer in the bones.
Prayer: In the name of Jesus, I am purged of every jealousy.

In this article:
Chidi Okoroafor
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