Friday, September 16, 2011

Fun Friday: Jealousy and Coveting

The topic for this weeks fun Friday post comes from a facebook friend. She said, "How about a blog on Jealousy? Covetness? Is there a good jealousy? Can you covett without it being a sin?"

When I first got this question I figured this would be an easy topic to write on. I mean, jealousy's bad and coveting is bad right? But I was a little surprised with what I found once I started looking into it. Let's talk about coveting first...

In Exodus 20 it lists the ten commandments and the last one listed in verse 17 says "You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor." The definition for covet is "To feel blameworthy desire for (that which is another's)" so absolutely anything that falls under that category is wrong.

Now I don't think it's wrong to want something that you don't have. For example, I have 3 kids and still drive a 5 seater car. I desperately want a van so we can all have more room and just not be so cramped in a tiny little car and I don't think there is anything wrong with that. However if I see someone else with a van and begin to want their specific van with an unhealthy desire, that's when it crosses the line to sin. Does that make sense?

There seems to be only one thing we can covet without sinning and that is the gifts of the Spirit. In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul talks about and lists the gifts of the Spirit and explains the importance of each gift. He ends it in verse 31 by saying "But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way". Wednesday night our pastor explained this verse and why it tells us to "covet" the gifts. See, the gifts of the Spirit belong to the Holy Spirit. In order for anyone to have any one of these gifts they have to be given by the Spirit, and in this verse Paul is saying that each Christian is to earnestly desire them. So other than this example it seems coveting anything is in fact wrong.

Now for jealousy. In studying this subject I came across THIS website that talks about the different kinds of jealousy and gives many verses for each example. They did a fantastic job so I encourage you to take a look at it and do some studying yourself.

I believe that jealousy is both good and bad. There is obviously a very unhealthy side of jealousy that can stem from selfishness, then there is the God kind of jealousy that I believe is good and can even be healthy. The bible actually talks about the fact that God is a jealous God in regards to his people. He is very jealous for our devotion and simply will not share us. In the same respect, I am very jealous for my husband and I will not share his devotion with anyone else. Do you see the connection? If another woman comes along and tries to steal my husbands devotion there is nothing wrong with the jealousy that stems from that. However if another woman simply talks to him it is not ok to react in jealousy.

In Galatians 5:22-23, Paul talks about the fruit of the Spirit and how we as Christians are to walk and live in these characteristics. I believe that by walking in these actions we can learn to control our jealousy and live in thankfulness and contentment in any state we're in and covet nothing.

Each Friday I tackle the thoughts and questions of my readers. If there is something you would like me to discuss feel free to either leave a comment below, leave a comment on my Facebook Page or email me at joinmeforcoffeeblog(at)gmail(dot)com.

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