Robe + Dreams = Hatred

Steve Petroelje

READ : Genesis 37:1-11

But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more . . . they hated him. (v. 4)

What is the difference between envy and jealousy? Envy is wanting what someone else has. We might envy another person’s home, job, or clothes. Jealousy is fearing we might lose what we have to someone who could take it from us. A jealous boyfriend may fear losing his girlfriend to another guy.

Joseph’s brothers were both envious and jealous (v. 11) of him. They envied his coat and were jealous of Jacob’s love for him. Let’s admit that Joseph could have handled the situation with greater sensitivity. He brought a bad report of his siblings to his father, which led to hatred and a broken relationship. The dreams of personal glory Joseph shared added fuel to the fire of hatred that his brothers felt.

Do you live in a way that might cause others to experience envy or jealousy? Do you brag about your good fortune, advertise your prosperity, or intentionally make others feel like they are lower on the social ladder? Are you parenting with favoritism? Are you struggling with envy or jealousy yourself?

Envy, jealousy, and hatred are not fruit of the Spirit. Followers of Jesus will seek to replace these emotions with love and strive to live and speak in ways that do not give rise to these feelings in others.


God of grace, help us to live in unity with others. Amen.