Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bitter Jealousy and Selfish Ambition

Bitter Jealousy and Selfish Ambition

"But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice." James 3:14-16 (ESV)

Bitterness and selfishness are two inescapable evidences of a heart that is controlled by Satan.

Satan is able to influence and deceive human hearts, appealing to their natural self-love, making them believe that their carnal, selfish desires are paramount, above the needs and concerns of any other person, including the God Almighty Who created and sustains them by His general mercy.

Appeals for assistance from others and opportunities for self-advancement all are filtered by the natural man's filter, often producing a false appearance of an attack or a threat to the natural man's desires.

The demon-controlled natural man reacts to the complaints and concerns of others with an inner fire of indignation, a sense of self-righteous heat that is almost painful; a feeling of sharp, bitter jealousy: "My dearly loved desires and plans are threatened! This I will not allow!"

Every sinful, natural facility is bent toward defense. The carnal, natural man will devise a hidden agenda, a scheme to stimulate argument and division, all calculated to allow opportunities for victory and advancement. An argument may be won, insults may be suggested or even violently hurled, another's confidence may be shaken, friends may be separated, competitors may be weakened or humiliated.

The sinful, selfish, natural satan-seduced human heart seeks to be exalted in the eyes of others, desiring to be seen as superior, wise and great. He desperately desires to be made much of.

None of this is of God. God allows every proud tower to crumble down in depravity...perhaps not soon, rarely instantly, often after a lifetime of undeserved mercy on the part of God.

But eventually, bitter jealousy and selfish ambition erode the foundations of even common courtesy and commonsense, bringing the man to disorder and disgusting depravity.

And it begins with a love of self and the desire to be made much of.

Photo courtesy of Robert Linder