Jealousy and Envy and Every Evil Thing
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So Jim and I have now spent several evenings talking about the passage in James 3:16; For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practice.
My husband has a passion for ancient Hebrew. He has brought great understanding in the realm of dreams by researching the characters of ancient Hebrew and interpreting what the symbols mean. So the word for jealousy/envy has within it the characteristics of a sun on the horizon, a seed, and an ox head. So it is something that over time grows stronger... a seed allowed to grow......
As we continued to talk so much became clear..... but at one point when Jim described the verse I jumped for what he said was basically the antithesis of my experiment...
The commandment is to love God first above all things and then one another as we would love ourselves...... and then to look at that verse and basically see where it states that when you are desiring something above your desire for God.. and are in disunity that creates an environment that brings forth confusion and "all sorts of evil and vile practices."
Contention and jealousy are what cause the problems... when you are out of unity, and you are not loving people, and you are jealous of what they have or who they are to become then they become the obstacle... or "enemy" to overcome. A willingness to do whatever it takes to have what they have is what leads then to all sorts of evil and vile things..... whatever it takes to bring them down... whatever it takes to preserve that which is thought to be owned....
It doesn't ever really start there.. remember a seed grows stronger over the passage of time... but not kept in check it becomes Saul throwing a spear at David... It becomes any individual willing to do whatever it takes to grasp a hold of that which they have set their eyes upon.
As we continued to talk... I brought up times and areas where I have struggled with jealousy and asked Jim his thoughts upon the matter.... He spoke about how the affection that I had or the love that was in my heart did not allow the jealousy to go unabated..... That the seed wasn't allowed to have full reign because I wasn't willing to allow what I wanted to rule above the love or affection that was within me.....
So you can be jealous and know it and choose time after time to keep it in check or you can be in disunity but not be jealous of someone or something (not at all want what they have)... but when the two, jealousy and disunity, are together there exists confusion and evil and vile practices......
Our discussion ran its course... from Hitler and Germany..... here there is no unity.. The Germans are the Germans and the Jews are not.. and Jealousy .. the Jews were perceived and did have wealth and the Germans at the time were struggling and poor( and needed nation identity)... created an environment for evil to grow and grow and get stronger and stronger...
Now that is obviously a very extreme case.... but what about in our lives, churches, and ministries.... I have seen that combination come together like adverse weather patterns creating the perfect storm ... the perfect tornado..... and rip through people's lives and ministries tearing relationships apart and devouring all that would be good......
In our quest to grow healthy and in my quest to once again think upon ministry and church.. I have brought this up to Jim .. I have asked him how do you keep this from a church... from a ministry... from me personally.... what would you do? What do we do?
Back to the idea of it as a seed..... believing that it is the leader's mandate to be diligent with him/herself and then with those that are gathered...... addressing issues that would lead to disunity... addressing issues that could cause potential jealousy.......
I am even more determined to address these issues in my life.... I have seen them.. I have seen the harm.... I now want to see what happens when we choose each other and when we choose God..... above everything... when we love God and each other......
We know that when two or three are in unity God is there willing to act.. willing to move..... as the Message in Ephesians 4:13 states; God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in loveŚlike Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other (unity). His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.
In the English Standard Version it is put this way....
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers]12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
May we come together... building one another up.. so that unity can flourish and we are no longer children.... speaking truth in love we will grow and become strong in Christ and in love.............. May those be the seeds we allow to grow in our midst......
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