“The following week almost the entire city turned out to hear them preach the word of the Lord. But when some of the Jews saw the crowds, they were jealous; so they slandered Paul and argued against whatever he said.” Acts 13:44, 45
Jealousy is one of the major stumbling blocks to freedom. I have been both perpetrator and victim of its ill effects. Jealousy seems to grow from covetousness, insecurity, and certainly pride. Selfishness lacks reason, fabricates false unfounded evidence against others, and is bloated with self-righteousness. If not confronted and tended to it can neutralize even the most gifted of potentials.
Paul was self-righteously jealous prior to his conversion to Christ as he persecuted Christians. Until the Lord revealed to Paul the error of his thinking and actions, he was destroying the very thing God loved. Paul was blind to the darkness in his heart and error of his ways. He was convinced his actions were pleasing to God and he was doing God a great service. Fortunately, when confronted by Christ, repentance occurred, freedom was birthed, and abundant fruit was produced through Paul’s life and ministry. Paul himself often became a recipient of the destructiveness of jealousy as he ministered the message of Christ, but he persevered!
Lord, I am still living in this earthly shell called the flesh and ask by your grace and power to keep the self-centered and self-destructive effects of jealousy from me. Amen