Lucia's Blog: 2016-04-24
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Friday, April 29, 2016


“Catch the foxes for us,
The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards,
While our vineyards are in blossom.”
Song of Solomon 2:15

We turn green with envy sometimes, but mostly, we get over it. It is such a small thing. Yet, it was for envy that the Jews asked that Jesus be crucified. Is there a cure for that?  Let’s consider the causes and cures for envy and jealousy.

Recently, I came across this verse, which caught my attention and made me reflect on it. I began thinking about the little sins that often destroy our perspective or expectations. They render us weak and limit any fruit-bearing in the service of our Lord and His kingdom. Sadly, these little things often destroy the Lord's church, its work, and the Christian personally.

Sin is sin regardless of its nature and brings death to our souls.  Paul says, 
“For the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23)

Sometimes, a “small sin” can be more detrimental and fatal to the soul than a big sin. The truth is that sin, by its nature, separates us from God (James 2:10; Isaiah 59:1; Ephesians 4:18). Sin is sin, and we must expose every sin, whether great or small.

How often do we teach or speak against the sins of covetousness, jealousy, selfishness, gossip, anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, unconcern for the lost, prejudice, cynicism, voyeurism, and so on?  These sins are not “little” in any sense. They are as destructive to the soul as are the more shocking sins of adultery and fornication, theft, and murder.

There are many dangerous “little foxes” that often go unnoticed and overlooked. Why? 
  • Because we tend to think they are insignificant and ordinary among us. 
  • Because we are uncomfortable rebuking them and are unwilling to rid ourselves of such sins that could wreck our souls.

The danger of these little foxes or “little sins” is that they stay permanently within us without any change whatsoever.

In this study, I would like to focus on the little twin foxes of Jealousy and Envy (the comparison game). I hope this study can edify you.

“Comparing” means examining the similarities and differences between two or more things, ideas, or people.  Comparing ourselves to others can be jealousy and envy resulting from not walking in the Light as He is in the Light and not trusting God's love and fairness.

Sadly, many arenas, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google, etc., are a temptation for comparisons, leading to nothing more than discontent, envy, and jealousy. Without knowing, we find ourselves trapped in these sins of envy and jealousy, which is nothing more than comparing ourselves to others. It is insane! Why?
  • Because it compels us to live fake realities. 
  • It makes us slaves of living a censored life through status updates on social media.
  • It makes us compete with one another, trying to serve our ego to find out who is the best, has more popularity and more power instead of busying ourselves with more productive and profitable things for the well-being of others (our walk with the Lord and bearing good fruit for His glory). 
  • Because it tempts us to compare ourselves with others:  our faith, talents, educational and intellectual achievements, friends, children, lifestyle, beauty, righteous deeds, popularity, etc; the list can be endless!

You see, comparing ourselves to others can be a dangerous game. And while it may be perhaps a motivational thing or an inspiration, it can often lead to terrible consequences.
  • It can destroy our primary focus (righteousness and the kingdom of God) and lead us into sin. 
  • It can make us feel better and more worthy than those we compare ourselves to. 
  • Ultimately, this comparison game leads us to pride, boasting, discontent, discouragement, envy, and jealousy. 

We must be careful!! Let us not be like the Pharisees of Jesus' day who boasted of being more righteous than other sinners.

The comparison game is nothing new. Cain compared himself to Abel.  Jesus’ disciples also struggled with this, John 21:23. One way or another, we all have to fight against the impulse of playing the comparison game, but it must not be so among us.


Jealousy is the uneasiness felt due to suspicion, resentment, or fear of rivalry, particularly regarding love or affection. Envy is the feeling of resentment, discontent, or jealousy of another's position or success.

These little foxes of envy and jealousy are almost identical twins. They walk hand in hand, and it's hard to tell them apart. These two words are often found together; they are synonyms.

The word “jealousy” is a word that is used many times in a good way (Romans 10:2; 2 Cor. 7:8,11; Phil. 3:6). It is used both in a good and bad sense, whereas envy is often associated with evil. Envy is discontent with the good fortune of others, while jealousy fears losing what it has. Both words deal with dissatisfaction and resentment that emerge in the heart due to some favor, good fortune, blessing, honor, or affection someone else receives that makes us think it should be bestowed on us. Unfortunately, when the word “jealousy” is adulterated, it turns ugly. It is sad to say, but I see so much of this behavior portrayed in the hearts of my brethren, whether on Facebook or some other arena, at church, and even in the home. This ought not to be among Christians! It is carnal!

Envy is like gangrene.  It destroys a man's heart.  It is like a knife in the chest that causes much pain.  It splits many churches, reduces our circle of friends, and destroys our souls. In Proverbs 14:30, we read, 
"A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot." 

Envy is a terrible heart disease and sows the seed of discord among brethren. It has two leading causes: 
  1. Lack of contentment.
  2. Lack of love.  

There are many negative facets to envy. When we envy, we are not content with what God provides and does for us. When we are dissatisfied, we are weak, so we envy or covet what others have. Envy is very destructive.  Jealousy and envy among brethren lead us to refuse to submit to those in leadership, such as elders. Why?  Because if you have your way as the one in control, you will have difficulty submitting to those who indeed have that responsibility.
  • Envy is not just desiring what the other person has. 
  • It is not just being resentful toward those with blessings that you don't.  
  • Envy does not want the other person to be blessed. 
  • Envy is the root of many other sins:  adultery, stealing, slander, hatred, and murder. 
  • Pride is the cause of this terrible disease of the heart. 


Cain and Abel: Genesis 4:3-5, 8
“And in process of time, it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto Jehovah.  And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And Jehovah had respect unto Abel and to his offering: but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And Cain told Abel his brother. And it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.” 

Envy and jealousy go back to the beginning with Cain and Abel.  It led to sibling rivalry. God was not pleased with Cain's offering because he did not offer what God had commanded: an animal sacrifice. But He did approve Abel's offering because “by faith he offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.” (Hebrews 11:4)

Cain's envy and jealousy led to wrath and murder. Cain was resentful that his brother had received more honor than he did.

Sarah and Hagar:  Envy and jealousy motivated wrongdoing: Genesis 16:5-6:
"And Sarai said unto Abram, ‘My wrong be upon thee: I gave my handmaid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: Jehovah judge between me and thee.’ But Abram said unto Sarai, ‘Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her that which is good in thine eyes.’ And Sarai dealt hardly with her, and she fled from her face.'"

Envy and jealousy led to wrongdoing. We see it portrayed in Esther 5:11,13-14; and Daniel 6:3-5, when men conspired against God’s servants.

Joseph's brothers:  Genesis chapters 37, 44, 45:

Joseph's brothers envied him and planned to kill him because they were jealous of him. Later, they chose not to kill but instead sell him into slavery because of their envy and jealousy. They had no choice but to lie to their father about Joseph being killed by a wild beast. By the grace of God, they were all reunited, reconciled, and forgiven later in Egypt.

Aaron and Miriam envied Moses for the position God had given him: Numbers 12:1-2, 9, 10, 15:
“And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married; for he had married a Cushite woman.  And they said, Hath Jehovah indeed spoken only with Moses? hath he not spoken also with us? And Jehovah heard it... And the anger of Jehovah was kindled against them... and, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous... And Miriam was shut up without the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.”

Envy and jealousy led to murmuring and complaining.

Rebellious Korah and his followers envied the leadership position God had given to Moses. Therefore, they spoke against Moses and falsely accused him: Numbers 16:3

“and they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and Jehovah is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the assembly of Jehovah?"  (See also Psalm 106:16-18)
Saul and David:  I Samuel 18:7-9
“And the women sang one to another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. And Saul was very wroth, and this saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.”

We see it played out in Saul toward David. David's many accomplishments in battle, his victory over Goliath, and all of Israel's approval toward him awoke this sin of envy in the heart of Saul. Saul’s jealousy produced the seeds of many other evils. He tried to kill David many times. Envy was the cause of his anger, jealousy, paranoia, and murderous intent toward David.  Because of his envy and jealousy, Saul ruined the rest of his life. His envy toward David was disturbing to him so much that he became obsessed with killing David. Saul hunted David like an animal to be killed. Envy and jealousy produce striking and powerful actions. It is the first step in the damaging sins of slander, gossip, fighting, and murder.

Because of envy and jealousyHaman wanted to kill Mordechai and all the Jews: Esther 3:8-13; 6:4:

The Jews were filled with envy against Jesus:  Matthew 27:17-18
"So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, 'Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ? 'For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. '"

Because of envy and jealousy, the Jews delivered Jesus into the hands of evil men. The Pharisees resented Jesus' popularity.
“So the Pharisees said to one another, 'You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.'"  (John 12:19)
“But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children that were crying in the temple and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were moved with indignation.” (Matt. 21:15)

Envy and hatred led the Pharisees to rise against Jesus, calling for His death. Pilot knew Jesus was innocent and that it was envy that led them to kill Him. Their envy turned into hate, leading them to mock and crucify the Son of God. All because Jesus was getting all the honor and respect of the people, and they were getting none.

Acts 13:45, 50: Following the same pattern of envy, a later group of Jews expelled Paul and Barnabas from Antioch of Pisidia.

Acts 17:5:  Envious Jews stirred up a Greek mob to persecute Paul and the brethren in Thessalonica after seeing Paul's success with the people.

The Corinthians were divided because of envy:  I Cor. 3:1-4.  

Some even preached Christ out of envy to add affliction to Paul's chains:  Phil. 1:15-16.


We all, at times, are guilty of this terrible disease of the heart.  We must examine our hearts and purge both envy and jealousy. Those who call themselves children of God ought not to behave this way.  We must be more like John the Baptist, who refused to begrudge Christ, His success, knowing that the success of Christ was his own success (John 3:30-35). Let's have that same spirit in us.  
"For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.  But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." (Titus 3:3-7)

Envy and jealousy are fruits of the flesh, Galatians 5:19-21. It is demonic, James 3:14-15. My question is:  why do people envy?  We can suggest several more things:  
  1. Immaturity, Gen. 37:3-4.
  2. Ego, Daniel 6:4.
  3. Insecurity, I Samuel 18:7-9.
  4. Greed, Ecclesiastes 4:4.
  5. Frustration, Psalm 73:3.

 Envy and jealousy are seen all around us:
  • In the business and professional world.
  • In the church. 
  • Among preachers, elders, deacons, song leaders, and teachers.
  • Among sisters in Christ (Preachers' wives, elders' wives, etc.). 
  • In other words, it is common among all Christians.

Often, envy makes us unhappy because others do a better job, are smarter, prettier, more popular, get more attention or approval, and so on. Sadly, this terrible disease of the heart leads to resentment, pain, and discomfort. Tragically, envy will lead one to use the tongue sinfully to damage others, causing others to doubt, misjudge, and think poorly of us.

Envy and jealousy are a matter of the heart. Jesus said,
"It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man."   (Matthew 15:11)
"Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life."  (Proverbs 4:23)

Sadly, envy and jealousy will determine our paths on our life’s journey. The heart is the starting point of envy and jealousy. The remedy for this disease of the heart is to always guard our hearts against such works of the flesh with all vigilance.

The remedy for envy and jealousy is found in Romans 12:15; Romans 13:13-14; I Corinthians 12:26-27; I Cor. 13:4-7 and I Peter 2:1-2.

So, should we not rejoice in their success if God has given my brother or sister a more excellent talent than He has given you and me? We are neither superior nor inferior to anyone else. Although we are created in God's image, we are different. We all have different talents and skills. Why not be thankful for what our Father in Heaven has given each one of us? Why not learn to be content? Why not fill ourselves with love, rejoicing for the success of others? Let these words sink deeply into your hearts!!


Consider why comparing ourselves to others is such a dangerous game to play:

  • Comparing ourselves to others leads to pride, boasting, and self-righteousness (Luke 18:9-14; Romans 12:3; Romans 14:13; I Cor. 4:7).
  • Comparing ourselves to others can deceive us into thinking we are superior.
  • Comparing ourselves to others can make us stumble, compete, be arrogant, and lose our souls.
  • Comparing ourselves to others is often the result of carnality and spiritual immaturity (Romans 8:5; I Cor. 3:1-8; I Cor. 4:5-6; 2 Cor. 5:12; I Peter 4:2).
  • Comparing ourselves to others takes our primary focus off God by putting it everywhere else except on the cross.  When we focus on ourselves, we will find trouble seeing all God has done for us:  God's mercies and riches.  We will often be disappointed that things are not as they should be.  We will be tempted not to see things as they truly are and be unaware that others might be going through difficulties and challenges.
  • Comparing ourselves to others puts the primary focus on us.  We become consumed thinking only about our "wants," indulging in "pity parties."  In our selfish pride, we may try to impress others into thinking that we are what we are not. When we do this, we can no longer live a life that brings glory to God because we focus on our own glory.  It affects our walk with Christ and those around us.
  • Comparing ourselves to others sets us up for discontent and discouragement, leading to jealousy and envy. 
  • Comparing ourselves to others doesn't lead us to contentment and thankfulness. We must be careful and guard our thoughts properly.  "But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment"  (I Timothy 6:6).  Let's be careful and not allow envy and jealousy to make us sin against God by being ungrateful to Him. It is like shaking our fists at God and saying, "What you provide for me is not enough!" Envy and jealousy take away our trust in our Lord's lovingkindness.
  • Comparing ourselves to others robs us of so much joy.  When we wrongly compare ourselves to others, we rob ourselves of the peace, joy, and blessings God has to give us. We must look back and honestly consider and evaluate what the Lord has done and is doing in our lives. Do we have a roof over our heads? Do we have food to eat? Do we have clothes to wear?  Let us be grateful because the Lord has met all of our needs. "Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning." Our primary focus must be on Him because He is faithful! His loving and everlasting faithfulness endures forever.
  • Comparing ourselves to others keeps us away from our God-given purpose.  How will we reach and save others if we are absorbed with what we don't have compared to others? God expects us to love others and to do it heartily. He wants us to focus outwardly, not inwardly. If we constantly compare ourselves to others, we cannot love and rescue our neighbors from the kingdom of darkness. Let's be wise and know that the days are short. Our goals must be eternal. We must think beyond this life, eternity, where the moth and rust do not destroy. 


Comparing ourselves to others leads to the little twin foxes of jealousy and envy, having their roots in pride, vanity, and selfishness, Ecclesiastes 4:4; Galatians 5:26; I Timothy 6:4.  These little twin foxes of envy and jealousy are the products of carnal hearts. Envy and jealousy are nothing more than the devil's devices, and they can rob us of bearing good fruit. Jealousy makes us unwilling to share and often results in a total loss of what is not shared. If we find ourselves walking this path of destruction, we must repent and let the Word of God work in us in the spirit of love.

We all have different gifts, and we must do our best. It is unfair to make life a constant competition with our fellow Christians. That takes the joy out of our relationships. We must not consider everyone as our adversary to be conquered and overcome.  Instead, we must accept help to improve ourselves and multiply our God-given talents. Much of the world and church hostility results from senseless rivalries and foolish efforts to “keep up with the Joneses.”

Comparing ourselves to others leads us to competition. I do not deny that competition is right when put in the right place. But it is so terrible to think of others as competitors against us!  If we are bound to compare ourselves to others, why not compare ourselves to Jesus, our Lord, to the stature of His fullness? Why not focus on the Lord and His example when we are tempted to compare ourselves to others?  Ultimately, pleasing Jesus is all that matters. The comparison game is a dangerous game that is not worth playing.  So, if you are going down that path, it is time to turn yourself around!  Instead of comparing yourself to someone else (which leads to envy and jealousy), why not compare yourself to Christ Himself and His Truth?  His Words will never steer you wrong. They are light to our feet and a lamp to our path.  He is the only Way, the Holy One, leading us down the right path of contentment and righteousness.

Contentment is easy to achieve when we kill the dragons of comparison (jealousy and envy) and keep our eyes fixed on our King of kings and Lord of lords. The only one worth our comparison is Jesus!

May our God help us to compare ourselves only to Him and not to others.  He is our only standard of measure.

I leave you with the beautiful words of this poem:

The stick I made for measuring,
I used it almost every day.
It helped me to compare myself
with others on my way.
I watched all those behind me,
or further down the road,
and I would readjust my pace
or lighten up my load.
The only real drawback
with how I ran my race
was watching everything around,
except my Savior's face.