Jealousy, Property Ownership, & Love…

February 4, 2014



Jealousy.  What is it, and where does it come from?  Does jealousy come from life, or death?  Paul the apostle described love as not being jealous (1 Cor 13:4); and Paul also lists jealousy as being an attribute of sinful flesh (Galatians 5:20).  If love is not jealous, and God is love, why then is the Lord described as being jealous (Exodus 20:4-5) ?

Possession & Property Ownership

If you have ever owned something, you probably understand the concept of possession.  People possess property.  The greater the item’s perceived value, the greater the feelings of possession and fear of loss that one might feel.  If you’ve ever heard a child tightly clutch their favorite toy and say “Mine!”, you’ve witnessed possession at its most basic level.

Property is not the only thing that people commonly try to possess.  In most relationships, people commonly try to possess other people in the same mindset that one possesses property.  When someone is possessive of another, know that envy and jealousy are at work.   

Make no mistake about it, love is not envious, nor can love be jealous.  Envy and jealousy are rooted in fear.  Fear of loss.  When one fears losing a relationship, envy and jealousy are the natural responses toward anything that seems like a threat to their possession or ownership of the other.  

Christ’s love floods out all fear, however.  

True indwelling love (Christ) is not dependent upon any condition to exist.  Love simply is.  Because love always has an object, love is preoccupied with being given away to the object of its affection.  Love delights in being given away.  His love is not threatened by anything else, because love inherently knows that love is superior to all else.  Because love does not fear being overcome by anything less than love, love does not need to be envious or jealous.  

True indwelling divine love (Christ) is unoffendable even in the face of the deepest rejection and betrayal.  Rejection and betrayal cannot deter love from His mission.  His love is relentless and has a longer shelf life than anything else not rooted in love.  Eternity is love’s expiration date.  

In a relationship, when one becomes envious, jealous, or possessive, know that fear is being expressed, not love.  When one becomes possessive or controlling, they are attempting to protect themselves from the fear of loss that they dread in the relationship.  In the end, it never works.  Love, on the other hand, does not seek its own.  Love does not try to protect itself from loss.  While fear closes off to protect,  Love remains open & vulnerable.  Love keeps on loving.  

Those who love are left wide open to the deepest wounds of rejection and betrayal.  This is why those who love the most, suffer the most.  In the end, however, love knows that love will prevail.  For this reason, love does not surrender hope.  Hope propels love to its destination.  For the joy set before Him, He endured the scorn and brutality of the cross (Heb. 12:2).  

The Jealousy of the Lord

Because scripture describes the Lord as being jealous, many have ascribed mankind’s fear based form of jealousy to the Lord.  They have incorrectly assumed Him to be possessive and controlling.  This is unfortunate and is exactly why knowing His heart is essential.  Make no mistake about it, the Lord does not fear loss, nor is He threatened by anything less than love.  God is love.  

The more that I live by His indwelling love, however, the more I realize why He is described as being jealous.  Love is zealous in its pursuit to satisfy the longings of love’s object.  Love desires to be fully received.  When one scorns and rejects love for something of lesser value that cannot satisfy, love becomes jealous.  

Our Lord is zealous in His pursuit to satisfy our deepest longings.  He wants to be fully received by us knowing that His love is the key to our satisfaction.  It is for this reason that He has placed us in the midst of family (church) where His love fully dwells within the hearts of our brothers and sisters.  This is where he has designed His love to be fully given and received in relationship (Eph 1:23).  Know that your Lord is zealous (jealous) for this to become a reality in your life.  This is what He is preparing you for.  


Jamal Jivanjee                                                     

Jamal Jivanjee

Posts Twitter

18 responses to Jealousy, Property Ownership, & Love…

  1. Beautifly expressed Jamal. Truly our Father is zealous for us, and to experience the beauty, and intimacy of His Love.

    May we have eyes to see, and ears to hear as He draws us deeper and deeper to Him, and to one another. From this Love others will see, and likewise be drawn into His Love.

    Love loves all until all is found ‘in’ Love.

  2. Find that when I am jealous it damages my connection with the one I love and the fruit of my jealousy is that I end up against and at odds. If reading you right, God’s jealousy brings closer and strengthens. Remember someone wrote that God hates sin so much because it damages closeness with those he loves. . . that God is jealous for, not against.

  3. As I was reading your blog I thought about the homeless people who lived in tents under a bridge and I saw on TV how people from shelters came to ask them to come to the shelter so they wouldn’t freeze in the below 0 temps, and they would not leave their meager possessions for fear someone would steal them. They could not grasp the love that was being extended to them or risk that love because of fear. I can’t think of any other reason why they would risk their lives after you have explained it so well. It also explains why I am not changing in some areas that God is dealing with me about. Fear I won’t be OK and how to deal with the day to day needs that will come with the change. Conclusion: Let Love come in and do it. Did I get the message right? Thanks Jamal.

    • Mary,

      That’s a great example! Thanks for sharing. Yes, I think you grasped what I was attempting to communicate quite well:)

  4. Ooh, another topic “close to His heart.” I was going to say “my heart”, which is true too! 🙂

    Jay Ferris’ had a line that really fits here, “Love creates fear. Perfect love casts it out.” That is, our kind of love creates jealousy. It sets expectations on others to not disappoint us, and to predictably respond to our advances.

    I have to admit. I don’t ‘want’ to lose the love and acceptance of others. The thought isn’t pleasant. But I know that Jesus demonstrated His love for me when I, in a very real way, disappointed and ‘left Him’. Love’s worst nightmare came true. His heart was broken. But I like how you expounded this… that hope propelled Him to the Cross. He lost us (temporarily) but in His ‘zealousy’ He demonstrated to us how perfect love responds. He has won my heart. Amazing!

    I’m so thankful for relationships that the Lord is giving right now, that are based on this love. I almost feel like He is doing something new, but that may be partly because this revelation of His love has only been increasing.

    One question that came to me. I see the truth of this statement, “This is why those who love the most, suffer the most.” Is this similar to what Paul said, “The more I love, the less I am loved”?

    • Great comment Pamela. I love what Jay said: “Love creates fear, Perfect love casts it out.” I do understand what Paul is observing. When we love more, those who view us through the old nature will actually see this love as something disdainful. Like Christ, we will bear His reproach. It will be the opposite for those who view us through the new nature, however. In the flesh, familiarity breeds contempt, but in the Spirit, familiarity breeds delight!

  5. Jamal, I think you know how I like to play with words and their ancestors. This may of interest:   The English word “jealous” is translated from the Greek word “zelos,” which finds its root as “ze.” “Ze” literally means “hot enough to boil,” and when water boils it creates a bubbling sound and hot steam that fills the air. And this word’s definition reminds me of “a consuming fire.” What is burning in God’s heart? Love. Passion is consuming and is the burn of Love.   Of course, there is also the passion (hot enough to boil) that comes from rivalry or  strife. This is not Love’s passion. The Perfect Love gives freedom, not relationships with bars built out of greedy dissatisfaction, guilt or personal gain.

  6. We’ll I’m glad he is jealous and I trust he will keep me close to him for I am prone to wonder.

    • Kenneth, He will keep you close because your new nature is not prone to wonder:)

      • Yea I believe your exactly old nature would be prone but the new nature is his and it’s not..good was encouraging..thanks

  7. This post will definitely be in the top 10 of 2014 and it will be marinating with me for weeks. So much treasure here in this one post! How true your words are… it is in the church that He has desired and designed His love to be fully, completely given and received… (key phrase here)… in relationship. Oh that we would have eyes to see that this IS our reality.

  8. Ownership of a property or possession always enriches your taste with the feeling “it’s mine”. The art of utilizing or playing with words is done explicitly here Jamal. I loved going through this blog as it has drove my interest with every line. Thanks for sharing. Keep Posting…!

Leave a Reply

Text formatting is available via select HTML. <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>