The story is told of two shopkeepers who were bitter rivals. They spent each day keeping track of each other’s business. If one got a customer, he would smile triumphantly at his rival.
One night an angel appeared to one of the shopkeepers in a dream and said, “I will give you anything you ask, but whatever you receive, your competitor will receive twice as much. What is your desire?” The man frowned and then said, “Strike me blind in one eye.” Now that’s jealousy of the worst kind!
The self-destructive emotion of jealousy had the potential of tearing apart the Corinthian church. These believers had received the gospel but had not allowed the Holy Spirit to change their hearts. As a result, they became jealous of one another, which led to a divided community. Paul identified their jealousy as a sign of immaturity and worldliness (1 Cor. 3:3). These believers were not acting like people who had been transformed by the gospel.
One of the clearest indicators that the Holy Spirit is working in our lives is our contentment and our thankfulness for what we have. Then, instead of experiencing jealousy, we are able to genuinely celebrate the gifts and blessings of others.
The remedy for jealousy is thankfulness to God. (RBC)