2 Corinthians 11:2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.
Several years ago we heard a sermon where our pastor referred to a ‘godly jealousy’. We immediately thought, ‘Wait a minute. Those two words can’t go together!” Even though we knew that in the Old Testament God refers to Himself as a jealous God, somehow that didn’t connect to the idea of a Christian having a godly jealousy.
Paul goes on to write in verse 3, “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” The issue seems to center upon ‘sincere and pure devotion’. Something that belongs to God is being given to someone or something else. Paul’s godly jealousy was concerned for their well-being and particularly for their relationship with the Lord.
We tend to forget that actions have consequences. In Exodus 34:14 God declares, “Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” In simple terms, think of God’s jealousy as both a thermometer and a thermostat. The thermometer aspect responds to what the temperature is. If our ‘sincere and pure devotion’ to the Lord cools – becomes less than it should be or fails to grow – the thermometer reflects this reality. The thermostat then turns the ‘heater’ on. By ‘heater’ I refer to those things that God brings about in our lives to help us repent and return to Him – to have our devotion to Him become more sincere and pure.
Haven’t we all declared to the Lord that we give Him free reign to do whatever is needed to promote faithfulness and godliness in our lives? He can do anything with us – just help us to be totally committed to Him. If our spiritual ears are becoming deaf, don’t we want Him to show us? If our devotion to our Lord Jesus becomes side-tracked and going the wrong way, don’t we want Him to ‘throw up road blocks’ to get us to turn around? Anything – I repeat – anything He does or allows will be for our well-being!
Think of all the warnings that Jesus gave the religious leaders that they were deaf too! The reality is the same thing can happen to us. We too can be led astray from our devotion to Him. It’s reflected in how we act, what we read, how we do our jobs, what we talk about, what we watch – all aspects of our lives are to reflect Godliness. Let us heed Paul’s warning and renew our commitment to be sincerely and purely devoted to our Lord.