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Othello is one of my favorite Shakespearean stories, but not because I enjoy the intrigue and drama. I enjoy movies that reveal the truth behind an action such as jealousy consuming a man and turning him into someone else entirely. In the old days, a “green” complexion was associated with illness and fear; From which we have derived the idiom, “green with envy.” In Shakespeare’s “Othello” the villain of the tale, Iago, refers to jealousy as a “green-eyed monster.” Indeed, jealousy can be a monster, it can be demonic. Often, we hear people say, “love makes you do crazy things,” but does it really, because in 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 — “Love suffers long, and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself; is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil.” So, was it really love if you acted out in a jealous rage or an act of vengeance? Love DOES NOT envy. Envy is the sin also known as “covetousness” and as we all know in Colossians 3:5 — “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” In the play, Othello is driven to madness and murders his own wife from jealousy that leeched hatred and rage.

 

According to modern day therapists, there are 6 types of jealousy: romantic, rational/reactive, family, sexual/suspicious, power, and pathological. Romantic jealousy is normally derived from infidelity, rational is jealousy resulting from tangible evidence but usually also relates to past hurts and assumptions, family is based on sibling rivalry, the sexual type ties into romantic about current affairs, power jealousy is based on work and career, and pathological jealousy is based on irrational feelings. None of which can be justified if we know how to genuinely love. Demons can use our past hurts and our prideful human nature against us. These emotions are accompanied by resentment, fear, anger, spite, malice, revenge, hatred, and even murder. In the Bible, there is a tale of two brothers that were born named Cain and Abel, and this story was not about your average sibling rivalry. In Genesis 4:1-8 — “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, ‘I have acquired a man from the Lord.’ Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. So the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.’ Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.” It was because of Cain’s jealousy that he felt anger towards his brother at God’s approval of Abel’s offering, he felt rejection.

 

There are many stories throughout the Bible that teach on what results from jealousy and envy and is never good. The main culprit appears to be rejection. The Anti-Christ spirit is a spirit of rejection, and it denies that Jesus is Messiah. The enemy uses rejection as a tool to manipulate and evoke negative feelings that could lead to our undoing. Remember Romans 8:15 — “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out ‘Abba, Father!’ We should not let these feelings lead us into temptation and act on bitter thoughts for we have a loving Father in heaven that will never leave nor forsake us. We should always be slow to anger and give all our burdens to God.

 

 

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