This post builds off yesterday’s which explained the difference between envy and jealousy. While yesterday’s content focused on envy, today’s will focus on jealousy. I mentioned that jealousy can be positive and I assume that made some of you wonder what the heck I was thinking. So first, I’ll remind you the difference between envy and jealousy. Envy is a desire to have something you’ve never had. Jealousy is a desire to have something you once had but no longer possess. In other words, jealousy means you miss something. Maybe you miss it because you didn’t value it when you had it and that’s why you lost it. Maybe you lost it for no reason under your control. Regardless, you miss it. For some of our readers, this may help. In the Bible, various writers state that God is a jealous God. The first question I’d ask is why would God be jealous? He’s God after all. With a little bit of critical thinking, you can tie His jealousy back to the story of the fall. Prior to Adam and Eve’s choice in Genesis, man lived freely in God’s presence having open door access to walk and talk with Him. Most teachers and students, when thinking about the consequences after the fall, describe man’s demise and how man missed that relationship with God. I think God misses it as much or more than we do and that’s why he’s jealous–he misses us.
Here’s another example of jealousy referencing a friend’s comment from earlier this week. This friend called me to ask for advice because he just realized his 23 year old son isn’t coming back home to live with them again. This realization was caused by his son’s new, serious relationship with a young lady. He even said that he resented her a little because she is the variable that will cause the family dynamic to change. My friend is jealous. That isn’t a bad thing…it’s happening because he loves his son and he misses him. He will miss him more until he comes to the realization that he has been spending the past 23 years preparing his son for this separation. We all have people who make us jealous because we don’t get all the time we want with the people we care about. That’s the problem with time…there is never enough, and that forces us to miss people or sometimes choose between people we love since we can’t be in two places at one time. There are so many people I miss every day and the list just keeps growing. I’m grateful for that and for them.