1 Corinthians 13:3-4 – “If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous…” (NLT)
Oprah Winfrey once reported that she began to rethink Christianity when her pastor quoted the scripture saying, ‘God is a jealous God.’ She interpreted that to mean that God is petty. She failed to understand that the jealousy of God comes out of mankind’s best interest, belonging to Him.
When the Apostle Paul says that love is not jealous, he means that love is happy for others’ well-being, and not envious of it. When Christ, through the Holy Spirit, takes up residence in our lives, we consistently find a satisfaction and contentment in Him that enables us to be happy for others. Our ambitions suddenly change. We no longer think of happiness and joy in terms of material blessings and the world’s promotions but in serving others out of love for Christ. With Christ in our lives, material blessings and promotions are nice bonuses but are neither required nor devastating to miss out on. We are still tempted to covet, but knowing our eternal destination and reward with Christ, enables us to live easier with our lot in this life.
Marriage exposes our selfishness in living color and causes us to work with Christ to grow from being jealous of our own time, our own priorities, and our own wants towards being happy to meet the needs of the other and see them flourish, even at cost to self.
Heavenly Father, my Lord Jesus Christ, help me not to harp on my spouse anytime I don’t feel they’re meeting my needs. Help me to be happy for others when they are doing well and grow in compassion for them when they’re making decisions I disagree with. Help me to lead by example, with a good attitude, in Jesus’ name, Amen.