Jealousy, a Soul Taint

Negatively, as the world defines it, jealousy is "being fearful or wary of being supplanted, of losing affection or position, resentful or bitter in rivalry, envious; feeling or showing an envious resentment of someone or their achievements, possessions, or perceived advantages; feeling or showing a resentful suspicion that one's partner is attracted to or involved with someone else."

Love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave. – Song of Solomon 8:6.

Positively, jealousy is "being vigilant in guarding something, and insistent on loyalty or fidelity; being fiercely protective of one's rights or possessions." As said of God, jealousy is demanding faithfulness and exclusive worship. Jealousy is synonymous with zeal in Scripture.

In the world, jealousy, an intensely personal form of coveting, is both envy and possessiveness. Jealousy is thus a soul taint or a sin, depending on its degree of severity. Jealousy, allowed to run rampant, can easily become an obsession.

Edna Lister on Jealousy

You must be of tough fiber to conquer in this world of jealousy and envy. You will face enemies who would tear you to pieces, and you must not notice it or you will not pass the tests. – Edna Lister, October 21, 1938.

Our Father is a jealous God, requiring obedience from His children who are of knowledge regarding law in truth. – Edna Lister, October 27, 1938.

Jealousy cuts and slashes what would show up its limitations. – Edna Lister, January 31, 1940.

Stand on inner law, refusing to hear anything started by jealousy. – Edna Lister, November 26, 1940.

The Lights are on all candidates for jealousy when one is promoted. – Edna Lister, July 3, 1941.

When you become conscious of jealousy but do nothing about it, the Gates of Light close on you. – Edna Lister, April 14, 1942.

Jealousy and revenge motives breed lies, treachery and deceit. – Edna Lister, August 1, 1945.

You could fall to bottom on jealousy. – Edna Lister, September 1952.

They ridiculed the Master and jealously reviled his works. – Edna Lister, I Am the Light of the World, January 1, 1956.

If you are jealous or hate another, acknowledge that he is greater than you. Putting another on a pedestal of hate, revenge, jealousy or criticism is devil worship. – Edna Lister, September 30, 1957.

God is jealous of His desire for us, which is nothing less than full co-creatorship. – Edna Lister, Ten Commandments and Beatitudes, December 4, 1958.

Complexes are born of self-pity arising from envy, jealousy or the desire to possess. – Edna Lister, What Is Healing? May 17, 1960.

Jealousy is the great hindrance. – Edna Lister, April 23, 1962.

Many jealous souls make critical comments about anyone who has advanced on the Path. – Edna Lister, May 20, 1962.

The higher and farther you go, the greater the blows of the masses' jealousy to tear you apart. All they can see is a place they covet but cannot yet attain. – Edna Lister, December 3, 1962.

Avoid conflict with those who are jealous. Give everything you have in service to God. Walk very softly, speak very gently, and their jealousy will die down. – Edna Lister, February 12, 1963.

Possessive, sentimental love usually covers deep and lengthy hatred and jealousy. – Edna Lister, April 7, 1966.

Jealousy affects the heart. – Edna Lister, June 20, 1970.

Criticism is born of jealousy. – Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1933-1971.

Jealous souls must go into retreat. – Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1933-1971.

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A Story That Illustrates Jealousy as Zeal

The Moneychangers: And the Jews' Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; and said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. – John 2:13-17.

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Old Testament on Jealousy

Jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts. – Proverbs 6:34-35.

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 –1971
The original Pioneering Mystic
minister, teacher, and author

Edna Lister

Etymology of jealousy: Late Latin zelus, "zeal."

Jealousy is a soul taint.

Jealousy is a sin.

Jealousy as zeal is a soul virtue.


Jealousy, the jaundice of the soul. – John Dryden, The Hind and the Panther

The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves. Jealousy is a kind of civil war in the soul, where judgment and imagination are at perpetual jars. This civil dissension in the mind, like that of the body politic, commits great disorders, and lays all waste. Nothing stands safe in its way; Nature, interest, religion, must yield to its fury. It violates contracts, dissolves society, breaks wedlock, betrays friends and neighbours. No body is good, and every one is either doing or designing them a mischief. It has a venom that more or less rankles wherever it bites: And as it reports fancies or facts, so it disturbs its own house as often as other folks. – William Penn, Fruits of Solitude, Part II, no. 190-195, 1-6

In jealousy there is more self-love than love. – François de La Rochefoucauld, Maxim 324

O jealousy! thou magnifier of trifles. – Johann Friedrich von Schiller, Rosa in Fiesco, Act I, Scene 1


Dryden, John. "The Hind and the Panther," The Poems of John Dryden, Part I, line 4. John Sargeaunt, editor. London, New York: Oxford University Press, 1913;, 2011 [accessed February 2, 2017].

François, duc de La Rochefoucauld. The Moral Maxims and Reflections of the Duke de la Rochefoucauld, Moral Reflections, Part I, CCXIX, maxim 234. London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1912;, 2011 [accessed February 26, 2017].

Penn, William. "Of Jealousy," Fruits of Solitude, Part II, no. 190-195, 1-6. The Harvard Classics. New York: P.F. Collier & Son, 1909-14;, 2001 [accessed February 18, 2017].

Schiller, Frederick. "Fiesco: or, The Genoese Conspiracy," The Works of Frederick Schiller, Volume 2, Rosa in Act I, Scene 1. Henry G. Bohn, translator. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1849, 135.

The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary: 2 volumes. E.S.C. Weiner, ed. Oxford University Press, 1971.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

Related Topics

See Envy

See Coveting

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