Is There a Monster in Your Heart?

From the LYWB.com Team: Did you know that our archives are jam-packed with posts created to point you to God’s truth? It’s true! We opened the vault and dusted off this post on jealousy. Check it out. Then spend some time surfing through our archives. There’s gold in them thar hills!

Here’s a quick lesson in Shakespearean literature (don’t worry, there won’t be a quiz).

In Act 3, Scene 3 of Othello, Shakespeare wrote:

The evil Iago plants doubts in Othello’s mind about his wife’s faithfulness, while advising him, “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.”

That guy sure does talk funky! But I do like his description of jealousy as a “green-eyed monster.” Most scholars think he is referencing cats and their tendency to toy with their prey before killing it (or as Shakespeare put it “doth mock the meat it feeds on”).

Have you ever pictured jealousy this way? Think about the last time you felt a tinge of jealousy.

  • Did you play with the feeling a bit in your mind?
  • Did you toy with the secret hope that the object of your jealousy would see her talents, relationships, or favor fade?
  • Did those feelings then become a monster in your heart?
  • Has jealousy ever devoured your thought life, your security, or your friendships?

Yep, jealousy can be a beast!

Consider Romans 13:12–14:

The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Jealousy is listed among sins like drunkenness, sexual immorality, and debauchery (over indulgence). What do these sins have in common? They ultimately destroy the sinner. They are beasts who always turn on their masters.

Galatians 5:19–21 says it this way:

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Jealousy is a green-eyed monster. If it’s hiding in the closet of your heart, it’s time to clean house.

Jealousy will trip you up. That’s why Shakespeare calls it a monster and why God’s Word warns us so strongly against it. Since God’s Word takes jealousy so seriously, shouldn’t we be serious about kicking it out of our hearts and lives?

Are you jealous of someone? Do you secretly envy what someone else has? Confess it to God. It isn’t okay. It isn’t a normal part of being a girl. Jealousy is a green-eyed monster. If it’s hiding in the closet of your heart, it’s time to clean house.

About Author

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Erin is passionate about pointing young women toward God's Truth. She is the author of several books and a frequent speaker and blogger to women of all ages. Erin lives on a small farm in the midwest with her husband and kids. When she's not writing, you can find her herding goats, chickens, and children.

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