“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition dissensions, factions and envy, drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21/NIV).
Here is a list of actions, reactions and attitudes that are unacceptable to God. Although being Christian believers at times we may be prone to one or the other of the issues mentioned. Yet this is not what God desires from us.
In the text of the New International Version here both are mentioned: jealousy and envy. To me these words are somewhat synonymous.
These are mentioned alongside with other sins. As we give way to jealousy or envy, many other sinful thoughts and deeds may be under way too.
Paul exhorts the Galatian believers not to yield to any of these things. Rather they should focus on the new life that Christ is giving them. “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” (Galatians 5:16/NIV).
As we accept Christ and receive forgiveness of our sins, we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit. This opens a new perspective to us. We are not any more slaves to our own emotions and sentiments. Something new has begun. We are to give way to the new attitudes that now are being fostered within us.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22/NIV).
“Love does not envy.” (1 Corinthians 13:4). Paul encourages us to yield to the love of Christ.