The Old Testament book of First Samuel, chapter eighteen, dramatically reveals what happens when jealousy goes unchecked. David has defeated the giant, Goliath, and word of his victory has spread quickly throughout the kingdom. David returns home and is received with a parade and songs declaring, Saul has killed his thousands, and David his TEN thousands! You would think Saul, the king of Israel, would celebrate David. But the crowd’s adoring response, giving more credit to David, was the last straw for King Saul. His jealousy overtook the importance of the kingdom's victory. The Bible says that Saul, consumed with rage, attempts to kill David. I would encourage you to read the entire story of Saul and David. Although it involves far more than the synopsis given here, even these few words can offer us a clue about jealousy’s ultimate outcome.
It’s interesting to note that David’s actions didn’t cause Saul’s anger. David’s actions were actually heroic. But those actions revealed deep issues lying in wait within Saul. Jealousy begins as a pain we feel when we perceive someone acquiring something we think should belong to us.
Jealousy is quickly disarmed by humility and gratitude. Compare, for instance, the way John the Baptist responded to Jesus as opposed to Saul’s response to David. John had established himself before Jesus went public with His own ministry. John had an audience, even disciples, who followed him faithfully. As Jesus’ ministry spread, fewer people followed John and this bothered his disciples. They came to John and said, Everybody is going to him instead of coming to us! John, secure in his identity and purpose, responded, He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.
Instead of just trying to avoid jealous thoughts, practice capturing those thoughts and redeeming them. They could be a hint that something more is going on inside. Humbly pray and invite the Father to meet you there and talk it out with Him.