10 Scriptures for a Jealous Heart
- Alisha Headley iBelieve Contributing Writer
- 2022 28 Jan
Jealousy can eat away at us day by day, stealing the joy from our lives and leaving us in a place of complete discontentment. Like most, I never want to admit that I’m jealous. It’s usually a feeling I keep down inside, tuck away, and pretend doesn’t exist. Meanwhile, being jealous of others consumes my thoughts and leaves me thirsting for the newest and brightest thing to make sure I keep up with what others have that I don’t. Or if I’m not aiming to reach the mark of what others have with possessions, I’m instead sitting in a lonely pit wallowing with a mindset that my life is meaningless compared to others, as they seem to be living lives that are fuller than mine.
A jealous heart creates a life of discontentment.
The problem with a jealous heart is that peace never exists, and discontent always does. When you are jealous, you are not content in your own life because you are always coveting someone else’s. You can never truly live peacefully because your life feels empty, wanting what seems full in another’s life.
Paul tells us in I Timothy 6:6 that “godliness with contentment is great gain.” When you are focused on God and what He has for you and His specific purpose for your life and only your life, you gain contentment, which is of great value. It’s a great gain to pursue righteousness and godliness, and attributes like these give us an eternal perspective. This is of much more gain than living a life with a jealous heart coveting what others’ lives portray rather than focusing on God’s portrayal of ours.
Social media and our endless buffet line of information with ads, story highlights, and videos posting everyone “living their best life” surely don’t help this cause. So how are we to live today and the culture of information overload and not compare ourselves causing us to live with a jealous heart? This article will provide you with ten powerful Scriptures below to combat your jealous heart. But first, we need to understand not only how important our heart is but how much of our jealous heart dictates and steers our actions. Our heart can determine if we live a fulfilling life of contentment or a life lacking peace full of discontentment.
The importance of our heart.
We have the gift of the Bible at our fingertips, full of wisdom and guidance to help us navigate through our lives here on earth, and I’m so grateful for all the truth it provides. But one of the most important Scriptures I have found is centered around the heart. Proverbs 4:23 says to “Guard your heart, above all else, for everything you do flows from it.” Above all else, we are to protect our hearts because every decision, action, and reaction stems from our hearts. Our heart is powerful, and it will ultimately shape our lives based on our actions that arise from it.
Scriptures regarding our heart are mentioned almost a thousand times in the Bible, so I encourage you to explore and seek out more scripture about this, but above anything else, we are told to guard our hearts. Our heart is made of the mind, emotions, and will. Decisions we make start in the heart but quickly show in our actions. If our heart isn’t right, our actions won’t be either, and we all know our actions can lead us down a path contrary to the one God has designed and set out for us.
Proverbs 23:7 says, “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” In other words, the thoughts in your heart will dictate the person and life you will live. Our heart affects everything in our life. If our heart is not guarded, our life won’t be guarded, leaving room for the enemy to attack. This is why we are told in Ephesians 6 to put our armor of God on every day, with one crucial armor being the breastplate of righteousness that covers our hearts.
Mark 7:21-22 says, “for out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, evil eyes, pride, foolishness. All these come from within a defile a man.”
Every action starts in the heart, and any of us can be tainted with a jealous defiled heart. Let’s look at King David in the Bible. He was once deemed as “a man after God’s own heart” (I Samuel 13:14). He did mighty things for the Lord. But over time, he stopped protecting his heart and had a period in his life where his unprotected heart led to him committing adultery and murder (1 Samuel 11-12). He ultimately turned to the Lord with a heart of repentance (Psalm 51), but a man so dedicated to the Lord and doing mighty things is susceptible to fall, just like you and I are. His unguarded led to his sinful actions because he stopped guarding it. So, we, too, need to be aware and always guard what enters our heart, so our actions from our jealous heart don’t lead us to a life of sin crying out for repentance.
What actions are you taking based on your jealous heart?
Ask yourself what actions you have already taken or are considering taking based on the jealousy that has taken root in your heart? Perhaps you find yourself gossiping to your spouse or other friends about a person because you are jealous, and talking badly about them makes you feel better about yourself. Talking badly about them and having others in unity with you on this same subject somehow makes you feel less jealous inside. Maybe you find yourself manipulating people or a situation for your benefit out of your jealous heart. You could have a jealous heart in your marriage, causing you to want to control your spouse, nag at them, or slander them while God calls us to comfort, edify and love others. (Galatians 5:14). Or perhaps your jealous heart is wishing bad on another person, even your closest friends because nothing seems to be going well in your life, and you are jealous of any success or blessings in theirs.
These actions can lead to more sin, leading you down a spiral of sin, which could ultimately lead to the destruction of your relationships and your own well-being as you are so focused on others rather than on you and what God has called you to. (Romans 6:23) I encourage you to take inventory of your life and your heart today and cut off branches that are not bearing fruit due to your jealous heart. (John 15:2)
A jealous heart steals our peace, consumes us, and taints our heart, leading us to think thoughts that could ultimately dictate our actions, causing us to fall more into sin and affect our lives if we are not careful to guard it. Here are 10 Scriptures to keep close to us as we see jealously creep into our hearts. Meditate on them day and night (Psalm 1:2-3) until you allow them to infiltrate your mind and sink deep in your heart (Jeremiah 31:31-24), so no room for jealousy sprouts up.
10 Scriptures for a jealous heart:
1. “A sounds heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones.” (Proverbs 14:30)
2. “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” (James 3:16)
3. “For wrath kills a foolish man, and envy slays a simple one.” (Job 5:2)
4. “But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.” (Galatians 6:4)
5. “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up...” (I Corinthians 13:4)
6. “…for all toil and every skillful; work a man is envied by his neighbor. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 4:4)
7. “You desire but you do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.” (James 4:2)
8. “You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly?” (I Corinthians 3:3)
9. “Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but jealous is even more dangerous.” (Proverbs 27:4)
10. “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)
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Alisha Headley is a writer + speaker who has a desire to meet the everyday woman in her everyday life with biblical truth. Stepping into her true calling, she left the corporate world behind as a former-financial VP to love on her family as a stay-at-home wifey + dog mama, while also being able to pursue her passion as a writer. Healing from a chapter of life consumed with lies she once believed about herself, she is inspired to point women to Christ to experience the freedom + power to overcome those lies with the truth written in God’s word. In her free time, Alisha enjoys road trips around the country, working out so she can eat her favorite foods, and creatively styling her outfits with a craft for fashion. Alisha is a proud wifey and dog mama living in Scottsdale, Arizona.