Danger of Jealousy


Author: Durriya Alphonso   24 Nov 2022

How to overcome jealousy?

Jealousy is one of the most dangerous sins. Lucifer was one of God’s angels – a magnificent being. Lucifer was fully arrayed by the Creator to reflect his glory, a fallen angel  who was jealous of God and hence Lucifer became so impressed with his own beauty, intelligence, power, and position that he began to desire for himself the honor and glory that belonged to God alone. The sin that corrupted Lucifer was self-generated pride. Lucifer wanted to be God’s equal, hence fell from heaven’s glory and was sentenced to the pits of hell, and his name changed to Satan. 

Isaiah 14:12-14

How you have fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit on the mount of assembly on the heights of Zaphon; I will ascend to the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High.

Lucifer was very powerful and leader of the choir of heaven. He was one of the highest ranking angels in heaven. Jealousy was the reason why the first sin took place.

Let us retrospect into our hearts and examine why we are jealous and look into the symptoms of jealousy.

Genesis 4:1-5

Now the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying “I have produced a man with the help of the Lord. Next she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a tiller of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel for his part brought off the firstlings of his flock, their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offerings, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

God only accepted Abel’s sacrifice as he gave the best he had and Cain’s offering was not accepted as he didn’t give his best to God. Cain was angry with Abel and hated him. 

In our jealousy for others, we will hate and hurt innocent people.

Cain killed Abel because God accepted Abel’s sacrifice but rejected Cain’s offering. With this act of jealousy, Cain became the first murderer. 

Genesis 37:1-4

Jacob settled in the land where his father had lived as an alien, the land of Canaan. This is the story of the family of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers; he was a helper to the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought a bad report to them to their father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he had made him a long robe with sleeves. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him.

All of Joseph’s ten brothers hated and were jealous of him. His brothers tried to kill him, sold him, made him a slave and sent him to Egypt. Joseph was innocent and was loved by his father.

St. Thomas Aquinas said jealousy is a sorry or sadness over another’s good, which they think or consider as if it is taken away from them.

1 Samuel 18:6-9

As they were coming home, when David returned from killing the Philistine, the women came out of all the towns of Israel, singing and dancing to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments. And the women sang to one another as they made merry. “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands. Saul was very angry, for this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands; what more can he have but the kingdom?” So Saul eyed David from that day on.

The people praised David more than Saul and suddenly Saul developed anger, jealousy and envy against David.

With jealousy in our heart, we will be unable to be at peace with others.  It is a form of insecurity and can definitely destroy families, friendships; as a result of which we will have limited friends. We feel jealous of the success of others, especially people closest to us i.e. between friends, siblings, in-laws. Jealousy can occur in a family if parents favor one child over another. We take secret pleasure in  the fall of others, that means there’s jealousy inside of us. We also destroy things that belong to others due to jealousy. Jealousy is the cause, which comes from materialism because we’re envious of one another, it’s a very dangerous emotion. Now, do you see how one thing leads onto another? First, it’s starts off as jealousy, then hatred creeps in and then we even think of murder. 

James 4:1

Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? 

We take secret pleasure in the fall of someone else, it arises due to jealousy within us.

1 Genesis 3:1-5

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘you shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?”. The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden but God said, ‘you shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.” But the serpent said to the women, “you will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.

Satan is called a serpent, a fallen angel referring back to his basic nature of being a deceiver. He approaches Eve in temptation and uses this commandment to deceive her into disobeying God. If one of us has jealousy, inside of us it can affect the whole family. It’s a contagious disease. In telling the lie Satan is telling a partial truth, which is the most powerful sort of lie. Adam and Eve’s eyes were opened, but in a way that brought death and destruction into the world.

James 4:3

You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures. 

1 Corinthians 3:3

For you are still of the flesh. For as long as there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving according to human inclinations? 

Proverbs 27:4

Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy? 

Heaven was disturbed because of the jealousy of an angel. Paradise was destroyed because the serpent injected jealousy in Eve. King Saul initially, was a holy man but due to jealousy he became miserable and destroyed his life and ended his life by committing suicide due to the jealousy towards David. 

Being jealous indicates that we are not satisfied with what God has given us. The Bible tells us to be content with what we have, for God will never fail or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). In order to combat jealousy, we need to become more like Jesus and less like ourselves. 

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2). 

Reflection on how to come out of jealousy?

James 3:14

But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. 

We are not to boast about ourselves. For boasting oftentimes leads us to thinking we are something we are not. It makes us think we are better than others or more important. Boasting oftentimes exalts us, and downgrades Jesus. Why would you want to do that? Why not say with John the Baptist, HE must increase and I must decrease! Let us boast about what God has done for us, not what we are doing for him. For only He is worthy of praise and honor.

Genesis 30:14-15

In the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” But she said to her, “is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes also?” Rachel said, “then he may lie with you tonight for your son’s mandrakes.”

Jacob had two wives and he loved Rachel more than Leah. From the moment onwards, Leah couldn’t accept Rachel and was jealous of her.

1 Peter 4:8

Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins.

We should not love others more than God. No matter how much we desire something else more than God, God can change our heart. Let us be committed and trust in the Lord,  take delight in God’s love and LOVE comes from God. ‘Am I not sufficient for you?”

Easiest way to overcome jealousy

Accept Jesus, believe God accepts and loves us and wants us not only to know that such a love exists, but also really believe it and receive it. Remember that God wants to bless us and give us wonderful gifts, but only gifts that won’t be harmful for us. All good gifts come from God (James 1:17), so gifts that are going to be negative to our lives must come from someone else. Appreciation is a wonderful commodity that God sees in us, where we feel valued and wanted, the work we do now, done with and for Him, will survive into the New Jerusalem. To rely on God is sufficient enough and more than enough. When God is with us, we are able to overcome all of the jealousy we battle with.  

Proverbs 14:30

A tranquil mind gives life to the flesh, but passion makes the bones rot.

Passion means jealousy – implies jealousy makes the bones rot

James 4:11

Do not speak evil against one another, brothers and sisters. Whoever speaks evil against another or judges another, speaks evil against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law,  you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 

When we judge others, it means we are sitting on the seat of the Judge, which is the seat of God. We should not judge others’ deeds until Christ comes because we don’t know their true motives. We don’t know people’s hearts. Only God does. And that’s what matters most. 

A good Christian is expected to be selfless and not be jealous of other people’s achievements. As Christians, we must be satisfied with whatever we have. We must be content and trust that God will meet our needs. As believers must be sensitive to any element of jealousy and ensure to immediately uproot its influence before it gets out of hand. Jealousy will make us lose sight of any effort that can benefit us.






Latest Posts


Children's liturgy - Last Sunday Before Advent

Prayers and resources for children's liturgy catechists and for families. Use these Gospel refle...

Read more

"I feel God's strength and I am going ahead"

In his 23 November general audience, Pope Francis continued his cycle of catechesis on spiritual di...

Read more

Why do we repeat sins?


Read more

Do Not Idolize Your Children


Read more