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Let's admit it. We've all been a little jealous or envious of someone. We were jealous that our companies hired someone “off the street” and paid them a higher salary than us, though we had been there for years.
We were envious of co-workers that seemed to get away with doing nothing. Yet, at the same time, our supervisor continued to give us more work.
We’ve even been jealous of neighbors who took extravagant vacations or purchased fine cars, trucks, or boats. And we’ve definitely all been envious of couples that seem to have a thriving relationship or marriage, and we can't find anyone who isn't simply interested in themselves.
What I have come to learn in life through the verses of the Bible is that if God blesses someone with great things, He can do it for me, too. And He will give me the self-control not to act out when inundated with feelings of jealousy or envy.
I’ve also learned that there may just be a different process or time frame for what God has in store for me. And it may look different from what others have, but it will be tailor-made for me. So, there is no need to be envious of anyone.
What is Jealousy and Envy?
Jealousy and envy are usually looked at as the same thing. Both reflect a desire to have what someone else possesses and even have some form of resentment toward them. However, each of them has subtle differences.
Jealousy is when someone is bitter, resentful, and has hostility toward another who possesses something they don't. It could be a relationship, character trait, advantage, achievement, or many other things.
Envy can be a mix between discontent and admiration. It can be used as a compliment toward someone (to say, I envy you for winning, but you deserve it). Yet we most associate it with a negative feeling. It’s similar to jealousy because it’s resentment for what others have.
But to dive deeper, to be envious is not just resenting someone but wishing you were in their shoes. It’s a painful desire and longing for what others have mixed with covetous malice. Those feelings toward someone are centered around many tangible or intangible things.
You could say we are splitting hairs between the two, but both jealousy and envy can lead you down a path of vengeance that is hurtful to you and everyone involved. It is also a reflection of someone’s lack of self-esteem or self-worth.
A great example of this happened during my senior year of High School. Two of my close friends and I decided to journal our experiences that year. We were to express our deepest feelings and be transparent because we would read each other's journals at the end of the year.
I had a crush on one of those two friends, but my friend didn’t feel the same way. But admitted to wanting to date and even marry someone who was just like me and had my personality. Which was the ultimate insult to receive from someone you care deeply for.
As I navigated that disappointment, my two friends and writing partners started to date one another less than a month later. It hurt me because they knew how I felt but still wanted to continue to hang out and be around me. It felt like they were rubbing their relationship in my face.
I was envious of the relationship throughout the year. When it was time to go to the prom, the two insisted that I ride with them and we do prom together, even though I had no date. So, I felt like the “third wheel.” Due to my envy, I had a horrible time at prom and left early without saying anything to them as a way to “punish them.”
The following week, we exchanged our journals, and each of them read about how angry and resentful I was of them all year long (not my proudest moment). So many things I said were unfair and hurtful to them.
The two of them apologized because they didn't see the optics of what they were doing but wished I had communicated my feelings rather than pretending nothing was wrong for months. I apologized for my lack of communication and poor handling of the situation.
I'm grateful I still have those good friends today but I almost lost them due to envy. Envy left me stuck in the park, wishing for one thing when there was an open road of possibilities all around me.
27 Bible Verses About Jealousy & Envy
1. Philippians 2:3
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit [through factional motives, or strife], but with [an attitude of] humility [being neither arrogant nor self-righteous], regard others as more important than yourselves.”
2. Proverbs 14:30
“A calm and peaceful and tranquil heart is life and health to the body, but passion and envy are like rottenness to the bones.”
3. Song of Solomon 8:6
“Put me like a seal on your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, jealousy is as severe and cruel as Sheol (the place of the dead). Its flashes are flashes of fire, [A most vehement flame] the very flame of the Lord!”
Put me like a seal on your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, jealousy is as severe and cruel as Sheol (the place of the dead). Its flashes are flashes of fire, [A most vehement flame] the very flame of the Lord!” – Song of Solomon 8:6
4. Psalms 37:1
“Do not worry because of evildoers, nor be envious toward wrongdoers;”
5. Job 5:2
“For anger slays the foolish man, and jealousy kills the simple (naive).”
6. Exodus 20:17
“You shall not covet [that is, selfishly desire and attempt to acquire] 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 belongs to your neighbor.”
7. Proverbs 6:34
“For jealousy enrages the [wronged] husband; he will not spare [the guilty one] on the day of vengeance.”
8. James 3:14-16
“But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be arrogant, and [as a result] be in defiance of the truth. 15 This [superficial] wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly (secular), natural unspiritual), even demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder [unrest, rebellion] and every evil thing and morally degrading practice.”
9. 1st Corinthians 13:4
“Love endures with patience and serenity; love is kind and thoughtful and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant.”
10. Proverbs 27:4
“Wrath is cruel, and anger is an overwhelming flood, but who is able to endure and stand before [the sin of] jealousy?”
11. Galatians 5:19-21
“Now the practices of the sinful nature are clearly evident: they are sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality (total irresponsibility, lack of self-control), 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions [that promote heresies], 21 envy, drunkenness, riotous behavior, and other things like these. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
12. 1st Corinthians 3:3
“You are still worldly [controlled by ordinary impulses, the sinful capacity]. For as long as there is jealousy and strife and discord among you, are you not unspiritual, and are you not walking like ordinary men [unchanged by faith]?”
You are still worldly [controlled by ordinary impulses, the sinful capacity]. For as long as there is jealousy and strife and discord among you, are you not unspiritual, and are you not walking like ordinary men [unchanged by faith]?” – 1st Corinthians 3:3
13. Romans 13:13
“Let us conduct ourselves properly and honorably as in the [light of] day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and irresponsibility, not in quarreling and jealousy.”
14. Ecclesiastes 4:4
“I have seen that every [effort in] labor and every skill in work [that] comes from man’s rivalry with his neighbor [envy]. This, too, is vanity (futility, false pride) and chasing after the wind.”
15. 1st Peter 2:1
“So put aside every trace of malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander and hateful speech;.”
16. Exodus 34:14
“For you shall not worship any other god; for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous (impassioned) God [demanding what is rightfully and uniquely His].”
17. Proverbs 3:31
“Do not envy a man of violence, and do not choose any of his ways.”
18. Acts 7:9
“The [ten elder] patriarchs, overwhelmed with jealousy, sold [their younger brother] Joseph into [slavery in] Egypt; but God was with him….”
19. Titus 3:3-5
“For we too once were foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various sinful desires and pleasures, spending, and wasting our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared [in human form as the Man, Jesus Christ], 5 He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we have done, but because of His own compassion and mercy, by the cleansing of the new birth (spiritual transformation, regeneration) and renewing by the Holy Spirit.”
20. Proverbs 23:17
“Do not let your heart envy sinners [who live godless lives and have no hope of salvation], but [continue to] live in the [reverent, worshipful] fear of the Lord day by day.”
21. Mark 7:21-23
“For from within, [that is] out the heart of men, come base and malevolent thoughts and schemes, acts of sexual immorality, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 acts of greed and covetousness, wickedness, deceit, unrestrained conduct, envy, and jealousy, slander, and profanity, arrogance and self-righteousness and foolishness (poor judgment). 23 All these evil things [schemes and desires] come from within and defile and dishonor the man.”
22. 1st Timothy 6:3-5
“If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine and teaching which is in agreement with godliness (personal integrity, upright behavior), 4 he is conceited and woefully ignorant [understanding nothing]. He has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, which produces envy, quarrels, verbal abuse, evil suspicions, 5 and perpetual friction between men who are corrupted in mind and deprived of the truth, who think that godliness is a source of profit [a lucrative, money-making business—withdraw from them].”
If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine and teaching which is in agreement with godliness (personal integrity, upright behavior), 4 he is conceited and woefully ignorant [understanding nothing]. He has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, which produces envy, quarrels, verbal abuse, evil suspicions, 5 and perpetual friction between men who are corrupted in mind and deprived of the truth, who think that godliness is a source of profit [a lucrative, money-making business—withdraw from them].” – 1st Timothy 6:3-5
23. Psalms 36:1-5
“Transgression speaks [like an oracle] to the wicked (godless) [deep] within his heart;
There is no fear (dread) of God before his eyes. 2 For he flatters and deceives himself in his own eyes, Thinking that his sinfulness will not be discovered and hated [by God]. 3 The words of his mouth are wicked and deceitful; he has ceased to be wise and to do good. 4 He plans wrongdoing on his bed; he sets himself on a path that is not good; he does not reject or despise evil. 5 [But} Your lovingkindness and graciousness, O Lord, extend to the skies, your faithfulness [reaches] to the clouds.”
24. Genesis 4:5-8
“… So, Cain became extremely angry (indignant), and he looked annoyed and hostile. 6 And the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you so angry? And why do you look annoyed? 7 If you do well [believing Me and doing what is acceptable and pleasing to Me], will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well [but ignore My instruction], sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you [to overpower you], but you must master it.” 8 Cain talked with Abel, his brother [about what God had said]. And when they were [alone, working] in the field, Cain attacked Abel, his brother, and killed him.”
25. Romans 12:21
“Do not be overcome and conquered by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
26. James 4:2
“You are jealous and covet [what others have], and your lust goes unfulfilled; so, you murder. You are envious and cannot obtain [the object of your envy], so you fight and battle. You do not have because you do not ask [it of God].”
27. Philippians 1:15
“Some, it is true, are [actually] preaching Christ out of envy and rivalry [toward me—for no better reason than a competitive spirit or misguided ambition], but others out of goodwill and a loyal spirit [toward me].”
Final Thoughts on Bible Verses About Jealousy
We live in a competitive world full of people who are ambitious and hungry for success. But unfortunately, jealousy and envy cause many of us to want to tear others down to make ourselves look better and appear more successful. We see this in all areas of life.
That's why the pathway to success for many people is a lonely trail. Leaving a pile-up of broken relationships, broken homes, and other forms of traumatic devastation along the road.
However, God's principle is simple. Put your trust in Him, and you will have everything you need to live life with purpose on purpose. Tearing others down to achieve greatness only moves you farther from it.
God's way of success and happiness in life may not be exactly what others have… but it will be something special, just for you, that fulfills the longing for importance and acceptance you have within. Lastly, it will bless you to leave a lasting legacy because of the lives you touch. So, don’t waste your time being angry and resentful toward others.
And if you want more inspirational bible verses, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 23 Bible Verses About Belonging to a Community
- 45 Inspiring Bible Verses About Leadership & Leading Others
- 35 Calming Bible Verses About Overcoming Anger Issues