Jealous and always wanting more

Published 10:29 pm Friday, June 21, 2013

By Rev. Chris Surber

Jealousy is the vile stench of pride. Jealousy is the evidence of a malcontent heart.

The heart that is content with the things it has been given is far less likely to be given over to jealousy than the heart that has not learned to be content. When Pierre de Beaumarchais called Jealousy “the foolish child of pride,” he was right.

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Jealousy is a striking embellisher. It exaggerates everything. When we look at the world around us through jealous eyes, it is like looking through a great magnifying glass. Jealousy makes everything others have look bigger, better and grander. But when it is turned inward, on ourselves, it has the reverse effect. It makes everything appear smaller, lesser and insignificant.

Jealousy is the vile stench of pride, because that is its source. The other day my wife and I hunted down a smell in our home for hours. We could smell the stink of something awful. We looked everywhere, but its source was strangely elusive. We gave up for a time.

Later that afternoon my wife headed for the cupboard to retrieve a straw-cup with a lid at my 3-year-old daughter’s request for her favorite delight — chocolate milk.

When my wife opened the top of the cup, she discovered it had been put away still containing chocolate milk. It had been there in the cabinet for days and was now repulsive and reeking. While it was mildly shocking to find, it was a joy to discover and get rid of the source of the foul odor.

So it is with jealousy, because jealousy is not the source of a problem but the odor of it. Pride is the source of the foul stench of jealousy.

An overly high view of our own worthiness of grandeur fuels jealousy. A lack of contentment with what God has given us to possess, to do, to enjoy is at the root of jealousy. You can light a scented candle to cover an odor, but until you deal with the source, the odor will remain.

William Penn, one of the nation’s Founding Fathers, said, “The jealous are troublesome to others; a torment to themselves.”

It is a certain hellish existence to have one’s pride so inflated so as to see what everyone else has and desire it. The worst part is that the jealous heart is insatiable. It can’t be satisfied.

The Bible speaks to this very fact in Proverbs 12:12. “Thieves are jealous of each other’s loot, but the godly are well rooted and bear their own fruit.” (NLT)

Contentment is the only cure for jealously and like jealousy, it is not a cause but a symptom of something else — trust in God. (Mathew 6:25-34)

Chris Surber is pastor of Cypress Chapel Christian Church in Suffolk. Visit his website at www.chrissurber.com.