"When they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him." —Genesis 4:8
Jealousy caused the first murder. "The Lord said to Cain: 'Why are you so resentful and crestfallen?' " (Gn 4:6) Cain was jealous of Abel. The Lord told Cain: "Sin is a demon lurking at the door: his urge is toward you, yet you can be his master" (Gn 4:7). However, Cain was mastered by sin, and jealousy opened the door.
Jealousy not only caused the first murder, but also the greatest murder, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. "It was out of jealousy that they had handed Him over" (Mt 27:18). Jealousy ranks among the top killers in our world. Are you jealous of your spouse? Are you jealous of your own kids that they get more attention than you do? There's a lot of jealousy at work and at church. Christians are jealous even of others' graces and spiritual gifts (see Jas 4:5).
What can we do to be free from the bondage of jealousy? Let's ask for the Spirit to cry out in us "Abba" (Rm 8:15) to confirm and affirm we are truly loved and need not compete for attention. The Father sent His Son to die for us. What more could He do to prove His love?
Prayer: Father, may Your love displace jealousy in my life.
Promise: "The man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, 'I have produced a man with the help of the Lord.' " —Gn 4:1
Praise: Joseph has developed the gift of gratitude and has learned to thank God for everything — his blessings and those of others.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Jealousy on audio AV 53-3 or video V-53.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 3, 2006 & September 18, 2006
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