Dealing With Jealousy {Growing in Godliness Series for Kids}

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It begins with a seed of discontent. A thought of insecurity. Jealousy is a green monster that must be slain. Helping our children understand why jealousy is harmful is a step in the right direction on the narrow path of godliness. {Deuteronomy 5:32}jealousy

Scripture Focus: 1 Samuel 18:6-16; 1 Corinthians 13:4

Materials: a sheet of green paper

Free Poster:  Click on the image below and print.

JealousyBackground: David killed Goliath. It was quite the event and Saul added David to his court. Saul’s son Jonathan became David’s best friend. David served Saul well and was given many leadership opportunities.

Object Lesson on Jealousy:

{Hold up the green paper.}

What color is this? [Green] What emotion do you feel when you see this color? [Allow for answers.] Have you ever heard the saying, “green with envy”? What does it mean? [Allow for answers.]

People who know a lot of about words and where they come from think that the term “green with envy” began with the Greeks. The Greeks believed that emotions came from the organs in your body. The liver produces bile, which is a yellow-green color. So when people became jealous, they thought it was because the liver was producing too much bile and it caused their faces to turn slightly green.

An author, name Shakespeare, used the phrase “green-eyed monster” to personify jealousy.

Act 3 of Othello:
O! beware my lord, of Jealousy;
It is the green-ey’d monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on.

Jealousy and envy are similar, but not the same thing. What does it mean for a person to be jealous? [Allow answers. Lead them to a definition similar to “the fear and anger of losing something of value, especially a relationship”.] What does it mean to be envious? [Wanting or wishing for something that belongs to someone else, such as a better job or a possession.]

Jealousy is “I don’t want to lose this,” where as being envious is “I want what he has.”

Neither of these attitudes are glorifying to God. And being a jealous person, or being an envious person, can cause health issues if you don’t take care of the sin issue causing these emotions.

Bible Lesson on Jealousy:

David was a great servant of King Saul’s. King Saul’s son, Jonathan, loved David like a brother. Jonathan gave David his own cloak and his armor, sword, and bow. And the scripture says that David behaved wisely wherever he went and that he was accepted by all the people.

After Saul sent David to fight the Philistines, David was coming home. The people came out onto the streets and the women sang and danced saying, “Saul has killed thousands, but David, ten thousands.” King Saul heard this and jealousy and envy filled his heart.

What was he afraid to lose? His kingdom. Why was he envious of David? Because the people liked David better than they did King Saul. From that day forward Saul was angry and suspicious of David.

But wherever David went, he behaved in a wise manor. Saul watched this and was afraid of David because he knew the Lord as with David and not with him.

One day when David was playing the harp for Saul, the king grabbed a spear and threw it at David. David escaped, twice, from Saul.

All of the people loved David. The jealous and envy of King Saul would cause David to eventually run for his life and spend years in the wilderness running from a King who was “green with envy” and had no heart for God.

Life Application for Jealousy:

Is jealousy a bad thing? [Kids will say Yes.] But the Bible says that God is a jealous God. (Exodus 34:14) Scripture plainly tell us that God is good and perfect. So jealousy must not always be a bad thing. Most of the time in the Bible we hear of God being jealous when he is telling the people to stop worshiping false idols. Do you remember what the definition of jealousy is? [“the fear and anger of losing something of value, especially a relationship”] What relationship does God NOT want to lose? [his relationship with people] If God sees that there is something taking you away from his presence, then he is jealous for you. He wants to bless you. He wants to spend time with you. He wants to use you. But if we are distracted by other things and not listening to God, or spending time with him, then our relationship with God becomes damaged. God doesn’t want that.

{Hold up the poster. Read it aloud.}

1 Corinthians 13 is filled with definitions of love. Here we read that love is not jealous. Is this the good form or bad form of jealousy? [In this verse, it is the bad form of jealousy.] In 2 Corinthians 11:2, Paul says that he is “jealous for [for the people] with a godly jealousy.” This means he saw the people behaving in ways that did not honor God and he was jealous for them to have a right relationship with Jesus.

We are not to be jealous and envious of other people in such a way that we brake relationships with others. Nor are we to be mean and angry and act like King Saul. We are to be jealous with a godly jealousy desiring all people to know Jesus and walk with him. We are not to be jealous OF people, but we are not be jealous FOR people.

What can we learn from King Saul? If we want to be godly, then we must choose to not be jealous because of selfish reasons, but because we want people to know Christ.

{Display the poster in the room throughout this series and read it each week.}

Follow Up Activities:

King Saul Persecutes David

Saul is Jealous of David

King Saul Becomes Jealous of David

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