Covenant Group Study blog  

Focus Scripture: 2 Corinthians 11: 1 - 6

Godly Jealousy. Hmmm, at first glance, that may seem like an oxymoron. Most people do not have a positive interpretation of jealousy. Per Merriam-webster.com, Jealousy is: 1)an unhappy or angry feeling of wanting to have what someone else has; 2) an unhappy or angry feeling caused by the belief that someone you love (such as your husband or wife) likes or is liked by someone else; 3) a jealous disposition, attitude, or feeling – OR – 4) zealous vigilance.

[Warning: you have now entered a trivial bunny trail … now, it is probably safe to presume that you may be familiar with what a jalousie window is. The name for this type of window or blind is actually derived from the French word for Jealousy. (Discoveries like this are what happen when I type badly in the search field.) According to dictionary.com, this window style was so named because “such blinds afford a view while hiding the viewer.”] So, now; back to the blog.

In Paul’s case, I believe that he was being zealously vigilant (#4) on God’s behalf. What Paul is trying to reiterate is what God Himself expresses in the Second Commandment. Exodus 20:5 (NASB), “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God ….” We are not to have any idols; nothing that will compete with our affection for God.

Let me tell you a story; this is a true story about a young lady who worked with me once upon a time. When I first met her, she was heading into her junior year of high school. After she graduated from high school, she soon found herself engaged. That relationship did not last too long and she returned the ring. Some time went by and another young suitor proposed to her. Again, the relationship did not work out. Not too terribly long after that, she confided to me, “I have decided that for the next year, I am going to “date” Jesus.” It was one of the most mature and brilliant decisions I had ever heard. For the next year, she worked solely on her relationship with Jesus Christ (while working and going to school). I fully credit the Holy Spirit both for her decision and how she was transformed. I am certain that her fellowship with her close friends* helped immensely. As she emerged from that time, she started dating again. If I remember correctly, she never saw “him” coming. It took a little while, but she found herself engaged one last time. You see, God had prepared her heart for someone specific. Though I do not know him as well; I do know that he is a godly man. How do I know that? As I see it, she dated Jesus for a year; I don’t think that Jesus is going to allow just anyone to date or even marry her that He did not prepare and approve. She did marry him a little more than four years ago; they have a son who will soon be 2 (where has the time gone?).

I use this story to illustrate the positive affect of godly jealousy. All God wants is for us to love Him first and foremost. We are able to love those around us, through our love for Him; make no mistake though, He must be worshipped and obeyed. He is our first priority. Our ‘bonus’ scripture for this week is Luke 14: 26 (NLT) “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison – your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.” When Adam and Eve first sinned, that apostasy created a God-sized hole in our hearts that can only be filled by restoring our relationship with Him as the ultimate priority. He created us to share in His magnificent work; in fact, He has loved us so much that “He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NLT … in case you didn’t know.)

I have never told her (until now - I have asked her to preview this for accuracy); God used her decision to “date” Jesus to transform my life and my relationship with Him. I saw with discernment the wisdom in what she did and have consequently applied that principle to my devotional life. I encourage you to listen to the Holy Spirit (especially as the Church prepares to celebrate Pentecost) and seek to “date” Jesus. Pursue Him with the passion He pursues you.

Amen.

*This particular young woman worked with me at Family Christian Stores. I was blessed in so many ways by the people I worked with there. Several of her friends came to work there, too. I thank God for each of them and the work that He does through them. By the way, this couple is prayerfully making plans to serve in the mission field in Japan within a couple of years. For the immediate future, God has sent them to serve young people in Sarasota County.

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