Envy, jealousy, and selfishness

In this Bible study I wanted to talk about envy, jealousy, and selfishness, and the problems and issues they create. From my own personal experience, I know how jealousy and selfishness can completely change your heart, attitude, and the atmosphere in your own home. That’s why, I always try to keep myself in check, by praying mostly; so if I’m feeling even a tiny amount of jealousy or selfishness, then I give it to God, repent of being jealous/selfish, and watch out for the thing I was jealous/selfish about. By the way, when I say ‘watch out’, It means I ask God for His help to have self-control not to think jealously/selfishly about that thing again!

The main Scripture I want to focus on in this Bible study is quite short but does have a lot in it! It’s James 3:16, “For where you have envy (jealousy) and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” Whenever I get selfish and therefore jealous, I become a person whose not very nice to be with (that’s the polite way to put it I suppose). I used to have an extremely selfish/jealous attitude, and I was not a very nice person to be with because in my heart there was disorder and every evil practice. Being selfish & jealous is extremely dangerous, which is proven by some of the problems in society today!

In politics there is a lot of selfishness, because people have power, and then want more power, and more and more, etc. Everyone wants things, be it power, wealth, a new toy, a cool gadget, it could be anything. With the Holy Spirit, though, we can have self-control to, basically, forget what we want and do what God wants. Now, politics is just one example of where selfishness can occur, selfishness can occur in very small things, like a child wanting a toy another child has, both are equally dangerous! Here’s how selfishness and jealousy snowball, it starts with a simple desire, which can become a desperate want, which can become bitterness, which can become a huge relationship dividing issue!

Selfishness and jealousy mix as easily and suddenly as Ribena mixes with water, this is because jealousy always happens when selfishness happens. Jealousy sprouts up only from selfishness! From a none-Christian point of view, jealousy and selfishness can only go away if you get what you want. However, we know that selfishness sprouts from pride; pride of things you have, what you’ve done, how you look, etc. And we know as Christians, we should repent of pride.

Now, pride was what caused a very big issue in my attitude when I was a lot younger; therefore causing a very big issue in my family. It says in Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” My pride was what led to quite, you could say, a ‘fall’ in my life. In Proverbs 16:5 it says, “The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.” I definitely didn’t go unpunished, I was miserable, and very much so! And when ‘the Lord detests’ someone’s attitude, it probably won’t go well for them. For me, I often had bad sleeps; as a result of bad thoughts. I also couldn’t use the gifts the Holy Spirit had given me. And, obviously, people did not enjoy being around me!

I’m going to end this Bible study with these Scriptures; “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time,” (1 Peter 5:5) aim to be humble in heart. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,” (Philippians 2:3) put others first. And “be content whatever the circumstances,” (Philippians 4:11b) always be grateful for what you have.

Nathan


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