Good Jealousy

Mark Heijerman

READ : 2 Corinthians 11:1-15

Normally we think of jealousy as a bad thing. One person feels that another is threatening his position or relationships. Soon anger, distrust, and resentment overwhelm him. Such was the case with Saul and David. Saul was on the throne but he viewed the talent and popularity of David as a threat to his position as king. Jealousy soon consumed his mind.

As bad as it can be, jealousy also can be good. The godly jealousy of which Paul speaks is a great virtue. Consider the Apostle’s situation in Corinth. False teachers had come into the church. They were enticing the believers to receive a different gospel. They were trying to steal away the bride which Paul had promised to Christ. In light of this, was the Apostle to remain unmoved? Was he to feel no emotion as he watched the church that he had raised from infancy being seduced by deceptive preachers?

Certainly, Paul’s jealousy was a godly response. A rival was stealing away that which was precious, and jealousy reached out to protect. Such is the nature of this important virtue. In its godly form, it is a protector of relationships with God, and therefore we need it.


Lord, make us jealous for you and your church. In Jesus’ name. Amen.