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By Basilea Schlink

      Jealousy can become such a burning desire in a person's heart that it can shrivel him up. When we are jealous, we usually torment the person we love. Yes, jealousy can give birth to hatred, betrayal and in some cases to murder. Infinite misery and sorrow have grown out of this root of jealousy. It can disrupt family life, business life and even life within our churches.

      If we are not redeemed from this sin of wanting others to love us alone, we will become spiritually bankrupt and our lives will not produce any fruit. For if jealousy rules in us, we are incapable of wholeheartedly working for God and His kingdom.

      We have to be freed from this sin of jealousy, no matter how high is the price. With its burning, consuming fire, it is a foreshadow of how such hellish craving can eat away at body and soul one day in the kingdom of darkness.

      But God's love wants to protect us from this. Jesus through His redemption wants to free us from jealousy even if it burns like fire in our hearts. But redemption involves a genuine battle of faith on our part against this ravaging sin.

      It is a matter of making a conscious renunciation of such sinful craving: "I do not want to have anything, my God, that You do not give me. If you do not give me the love of this person, I do not want to have it. I will give him up to You." God can only help us if we give up this person and our claim to his love again and again, and really lay them on the altar. Otherwise we are like a patient who has the best medicine, but still will not recover, because he does not want to leave the surroundings which are responsible for his illness and which continually make it worse. So it means completely letting go of the person whose love and attention we jealously seek. That means, we should not make any claims on him or on his time, nor should we seek to control whom he spends his time with or whom he likes.

      Jesus can only set us free if we really want to be free, and give Him a sign of our willingness. Otherwise the rope that binds us to a person will bind us more and more to Satan and his kingdom. Everything is at stake. Such jealousy is a sign that we do not really love Jesus and that we are "of the flesh". "For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving like ordinary men?" (1 Cor. 3: 3). The Holy Scriptures pronounce a terrible verdict on the works of the flesh. People committing these sins will not enter the Kingdom of God (Gal. 5: 20f).

      But if we have received a holy fear of our jealousy through a revelation of what jealousy really is, and we regret that we have sinned, it will lose its power over us. Then the blood of the Lamb, which makes us free from all sin will reveal its power more and more. If this redeeming blood of Jesus is proclaimed over the sin of jealousy again and again, it has power to free us. Jesus is mightier than the powers in us. His victory has condemned them to death. Whenever these sinful attachments are crucified with Christ, Jesus gives birth to new, divine love in our soul, which is free from attachments to people and cravings for human love. It will make us and others happy. Jesus has won this love for us. He wants to give it to those who are willing to surrender their sinful love and claim in faith the righteousness and love of Jesus. Only those who have overcome in their fight with sin will enter the City of God and His glory.

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