Jealousy is commonly defined as resentment or envy of another person's success or possessions. It’s driven by the perspective that what someone else has is more or better but the truth is what they have is just different.
At one point or another, we’ve all experienced jealousy and envy. These are the Bible Verses For Jealousy which give us insight, knowledge, and wisdom into what God’s word says about this topic.
Jealousy is a hidden sin but its impact and effects are often seen in our behavior. The results of jealousy can be destructive and affect our relationships, health, and faith.
When it comes to jealousy, we must be mindful because jealousy can often be the main cause behind some of our terrible behavior. We need to be vigilant and give thanks to God for everything, no matter how little.
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Bible Verses for Jealousy
God gave grace and gifts to each individual, making them special.
Because He has individually blessed and showered each of us with grace, we shouldn’t be jealous of others. We all have different gifts and blessings and it’s all meant to give the Lord glory.
Through the word of God and prayer, we can be empowered to overcome the powerful force of jealousy.
These Bible verses about jealousy we can get guidance to start cultivating self-control, patience, and contentment because when we do we will not be envious of what others have.
“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19–21 ESV
It’s very important to God that we behave in a Christ-like manner. We must allow the Holy Spirit to lead otherwise, our selfishness will lead us into a sinful lifestyle.
Jealousy is one of the works of the flesh and when we continue practicing it, this can hinder us from inheriting God’s kingdom.
But when we live by the Spirit, he helps us to be content and have faith in the Lord and in that way we overcome jealousy.
“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” James 3:16 ESV
Jealousy motivates selfishness which can destroy relationships that were a blessing in your life.
It’s the root that can lead to hatred, stealing, fraud, chaos, confusion, violence, and other degrading and sinful behavior.
When you are a jealous person the focus is on you and what you want and deserve. You can easily forget that everything we have is by God’s grace and we should be thankful.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” Exodus 20:17 ESV
Bitter jealousy often arises when we selfishly desire what someone else has and feel discontent with our own circumstances, gifts, resources, and blessings.
It involves a sense of resentment or bitterness towards others who possess something we desire.
This verse about jealousy is one of the 10 Commandments in the Bible.
It encourages gratitude and contentment with what one already has.
It teaches us to stop comparing ourselves to other people in a way that can lead to jealousy. Instead, we should concentrate on our own blessings.
“A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.” Proverbs 14:30 ESV
Jealousy can cause relationship problems, disturb your inner peace, and distract you from your personal development.
It leads to a deterioration of your physical, spiritual, and mental health.
This verse leads us to find peace and calmness in the Lord. A peaceful heart will lead to a healthier and more fulfilling life.
“He knew very well that the religious leaders had arrested Jesus out of envy.” Matthew 27:18 NLT
The religious leaders ordered Jesus to be arrested not because they wanted justice but because they had bitter envy because of his popularity and the glory and honor he had among the people.
This serves as a helpful reminder of the negative effects of self-interest and jealousy.
Bad motives can cause people to act in an unfair or harmful way, even to the point of betraying an innocent person like the religious leaders in the Bible.
“Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them.” Proverbs 24:1 NKJV
We are warned to avoid coveting the lifestyles or successes of those who engage in wickedness.
As Christians, we shouldn’t admire people who seem to achieve success or prosperity by unethical or dishonest means.
We should also not want to be in their company as they can be a negative influence on us.
Our focus should be cultivating a deep and intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ who will guide us on the right path to success.
“Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.” Proverbs 23:17–18 NIV
The scripture warns us against jealousy and being envious of sinners or those who engage in wickedness.
When you look at them with the physical eye they may seem not to have any challenges and their lives seem perfect but they are lost spiritually.
As believers, we must choose to trust in the future hope that awaits us. Instead of being envious, we should be zealous for the fear of the Lord.
This means having a deep reverence for God, honoring His commands, and seeking to live in alignment with His wisdom and righteousness.
“Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither. Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.” Psalm 37:1-3 NLT
This powerful and encouraging verse on jealousy gives us a perspective of how the story ends for those who are wicked.
It explains why the Bible warns us not to have bitter envy of them on earth.
When the day of the Lord comes he will judge the wicked and we will realize that they have a temporary success.
They don’t consider eternity so they may have “security” from their wealth on earth but they have no eternal security in heaven except if they repent and give their lives to Christ.
As Christians, we are encouraged to trust in the lord and keep doing good. Because when we do he does reward us in this life and the next one as well.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3–4 ESV
We only get farther from God when we act out of jealousy or self-interest. The best approach is to have a true, sincere heart.
By placing value on others and considering their interests, we shift our perspective away from jealousy.
Rather than being consumed by our desires and comparing ourselves to others, we are encouraged to genuinely care for and serve others.
When we focus on ways to love others as God asked us to in the Bible we will overcome jealousy in our hearts.
“But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.” James 3:14–15 NLT
This scripture about being jealous is a true eye-opener. We need to get rid of jealousy because it's demonic and ungodly.
Jealous and selfish ambitions are not from heaven but are earthly. They hinder spiritual growth, cause bitterness, lying, and disrupt relationships.
God desires that we have a pure heart, and this begins with how we live even when no one is looking.
We are also encouraged to have wisdom which is a divine gift that helps us apply the word of God in our daily lives.
As a wise woman prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to help you resist the sin of being envious of others.
“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.” Mark 7:21–22 NKJV
It’s important to check the state of our hearts and to avoid jealousy and the actions that go along with it.
Jealousy may be a hidden sin that others don’t see but it’s against the principles and teachings of the word of God and he sees everything.
The Lord cares more about our thoughts and the conditions of our hearts. That’s why his word renews us from the inside out.
The focus when you become a Christian is developing new godly thoughts, priorities, and attitudes and all that is an inside job.
Song of Solomon 8:6
“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord.” Song of Solomon 8:6 ESV
Jealousy is as fierce as the grave so it can have an intense and powerful grip over a person's emotions. It can lead to harmful or controlling behavior.
Song of Solomon is a book about love so this could also refer to a good kind of jealousy for someone who you have affection for.
Just like fire can be both good and destructive, a certain level of healthy jealousy can be good as a way to show your love for someone.
“Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but jealousy is even more dangerous.” Proverbs 27:4 NLT
Jealousy, when left unchecked, can lead to wrath and anger so it’s way more dangerous. It can be a silent killer that no one sees.
It has the potential to fuel intense emotions and can drive individuals to act in cruel or harmful ways toward others.
Although feelings of jealousy can sneak up on you, be encouraged because they can be overcome by God.
“For wrath kills a foolish man, And envy slays a simple one.” Job 5:2 NKJV
Anger and wrath can lead to the downfall or destruction of a foolish person.
Holding onto wrath without seeking forgiveness and reconciliation can have negative effects on one's well-being.
On the other hand, being naïve and allowing jealousy to consume you can be detrimental to your own happiness and well-being.
It can consume your mind and cause you anxiety and stress leading to spiritual harm and even a quicker physical death.
“For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” Exodus 34:14 KJV
This is one of the few instances when we see jealousy used positively.
In this verse about jealousy, God reveals himself as jealous, emphasizing that we should exclusively worship and devote ourselves to him as his people.
God is so big and perfect that he commands wholehearted devotion and there are potential consequences of turning to other gods and idols.
Because of his deep love for us as his children, he wants us to have a sincere and deep relationship with him as we prioritize him in our lives.
“For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.” Deuteronomy 4:24 KJV
The verse speaks of God as a and a jealous God. He won’t tolerate any idols or anything that can steal our affection from him.
He desires the complete devotion and loyalty of his people and he is worthy of it as our Creator.
We see the importance of honoring God and remaining faithful to Him. We must take Him and obedience to Him seriously.
“You shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,” Exodus 20:5 NKJV
This verse further emphasizes God's expectation for his people to worship him alone and not to engage in idolatry.
He has sole sovereignty is jealous of his honor and will not share his glory with another.
The consequences of idolatry and disobedience are that the Lord will punish the children for the sins of their parents leading to generations of punishment.
This is not an eternal punishment so that’s why we must repent of the known and unknown sins in our families so we can be blessed not cursed.
2 Corinthians 11:2
“For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:2 ESV.
In the same way that our God positively refers to jealousy, so does Apostle Paul.
He highlights that the relationship between the church and Christ is a marriage with Christ as our spiritual bridegroom and we are his bride.
Since Apostle Paul presented the Gospel to the early church he felt a sense of responsibility to present them to Christ as pure virgins.
This is in a spiritual sense and it means being presented as a faithful and devoted bride who has not been defiled by false teachings or worldly influences.
“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.” Isaiah 44:6 NKJV
God declares that He is the one and only true God and that He is supreme and unique. He is our king and redeemer.
He should be revered and honored as the only real God who is the alpha and omega, beginning and the end.
These attributes are the source of His jealousy. There is no other God but him under the heavens and over the earth.
He is jealous of His own glory and desires complete devotion from His people.
1 Corinthians 3:3
“For you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?” 1 Corinthians 3:3 ESV
Jealousy, conflict, bitterness, and discord show that we are still being controlled more by the fleshly mindset, not a spiritual one.
It demonstrates a focus on personal gain, status, and self-centered desires rather than the unity, love, and selflessness that should characterize the body of Christ.
The Bible calls us as Christians to live in a spiritual way which is opposite to the ways of this world. When we do, we grow spiritually and become more Christ-like.
“Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.” Ecclesiastes 4:4 NLT
The pursuit of wealth, status, or success driven by jealousy is ultimately unsatisfying and fails to bring true fulfillment or contentment.
We frequently work extremely hard and achieve great things because we want to be better than others in terms of reputation, wealth, or status.
This envy-driven pursuit of success is described as “meaningless” or futile, comparable to chasing after the wind.
What truly matters is pursuing a godly character and deeper knowledge and understanding of the word of God.
“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.” Galatians 6:4 NLT
What a wonderful and inspiring scripture on jealously. Jealousy often arises when we constantly measure our worth or success against others.
Paul reminds us that our focus should be on our own accomplishments rather than seeking validation or superiority by comparing ourselves to others.
Ultimately we are accountable before God and he should be the only one we plan to please.
“Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us?” James 4:5 ESV
God made the Holy Spirit live inside of us when we repented and became believers.
His spirit is there to help and guide us so we don’t continue to live selfishly.
The Holy Spirit wants to possess our entire nature and transform us into the image of Christ.
We grieve him when we devote ourselves to other idols. We should rather turn humbly and wholeheartedly to the true worship of the Lord.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 ESV
As Christians, we are new creations having got rid of everything worldly and embraced our new lives guided by God’s word.
This is a process that requires continuous transformation by renewing our minds.
This transformation involves aligning values, thoughts, attitudes, and perspectives with God's truth and will.
We need the Holy Spirit to continually guide us on this journey.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22–23 NIV
The fruit of the Spirit represents the qualities that reflect the character of God and are produced in our lives as believers when we submit to the work of the Holy Spirit within us.
Jealousy is not aligned with the fruit of the Spirit.
Instead, the focus is on cultivating qualities that reflect love, selflessness, contentment, and the ability to rejoice in the blessings of others.
Prayer Against Jealousy
Almighty Father, I confess that at times jealousy takes hold of my heart and mind, causing me to feel discontent, bitter, and jealous of others.
I know that this is not your desire for me, and I ask for your forgiveness. Grant me the strength to resist comparing myself to others and to be genuinely happy for their successes and blessings.
Remove the spirit of jealousy, envy, and strife in my life. Fill my heart with gratitude for the unique gifts and blessings you have bestowed upon me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Jealousy is a sin and is not characteristic of a Christian. While it may be common it’s quite dangerous. It demonstrates that we are still controlled by our fleshly desires and the Bible even calls it demonic.
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We must become less like ourselves and more like Jesus to overcome jealousy.
Through scripture and prayer, we can develop a heart of gratitude and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us as we develop the fruit of the spirit.
The more we focus on the spirit, we learn to love and serve others rather than ourselves and our hearts will begin to change.
As we grow in faith, we let go of jealousy and develop a pure heart that is peaceful and content.