Once again, I am thankful for Desiring God‘s great willingness to help me think through different issues – hard issues. Emotional, circumstantial, life, and not-in-the-bible issues. That’s what I love about DG. They don’t back down from difficult topics. They also don’t back down from complexity. This is a rare, rare balance. So, it’s a privilege to write there.
Jealousy is one topic that actually is in Scripture quite a bit. In writing these different pieces, I’m trying to ask questions beyond “Is this right or wrong?” The difficult (and often overlooked) thing about strong emotions is that we are simply given them, and we are left to either deal with them or suppress them.
Often, when we give a big red “Wrong” stamp on an emotion, the implicit path is: suppress. We use the word “repent,” but we mean “Stop.” “Get over it.” “Be better.” Stupid answers to hard questions. I have given those answers and been given those answers. Hope remains in the fact that Scripture refuses to give those answers, even if many of those who use Scripture would have us believe differently.
Jealousy is hard. I wrote this article in the context of a romantic relationship. “Jealousy.” Scripture’s words came alive – Scripture’s concept of jealousy tears its mask off in the dating context: “Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?” (Proverbs 27:4). Not I. But, as with most emotions, we are surprised by the staff of the Shepherd – when we experience “non-Christian” emotions, when we look back again, if we are open to letting go of oppressive interpretations, we find that God has been talking about these things all along. God wrote jealousy into the story. God is jealous. And he cares both for those who are righteously jealous and sinfully jealous. So, in this piece, I talk about that.