Jealousy is "that passion of peculiar uneasiness which arises from the fear that a rival may rob us of the affection of one whom we love, or the suspicion that he has already done it; or it is the uneasiness which arises from the fear that another does or will enjoy some advantage which we desire for ourselves. A man’s jealousy is excited by the attentions of a rival to his favorite lady. A woman’s jealousy is roused by her husband’s attentions to another woman. The candidate for office manifests a jealousy of others who seek the same office. The jealousy of a student is awakened by the apprehension that his fellow will bear away the palm of praise. In short, jealousy is awakened by whatever may exalt others, or give them pleasures and advantages which we desire for ourselves. jealousy is nearly allied to envy, for jealousy before a good is lost by ourselves, is converted into envy, after it is obtained by others." – Noah Webster

Webster further defined jealousy as "the apprehension of superiority; suspicious fear or apprehension; suspicious caution or vigilance, an earnest concern or solicitude for the welfare or honor of others; indignation: God’s jealousy signifies his concern for his own character and government, with a holy indignation against those who violate his laws, and offend against his majesty."

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

The Oxford English Dictionary defines jealousy as "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."

As said of God, jealousy is "being vigilant in guarding something, and insistent on loyalty or fidelity; being fiercely protective of one’s rights or possessions." jealousy is demanding faithfulness and exclusive worship. Jealousy is synonymous with zeal in Scripture. In the world, however, 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 soul 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 Treatment for Jealousy

What makes people two-faced? Some are insecure, but most are jealous of people who have what they want. The truly arrogant are so narcissistic that they dismiss the rest of the world. The truly insecure are ankle biters. The truly jealous can mount a campaign against the object of their jealousy — a rule or ruin mentality. The truly evil ones mix into a group to destroy or discredit the strong, the good and the competent. Evil will always agree with you, smiling and looking you in the eye as they slide the stiletto into your back. It’s all about power — the jealous and/or evil ones want the power they perceive that you have, and are willing to hurt or destroy you to get it. The only way to free yourself of them is to lift their lines, to declare them good and to fill them with so much Light that the Light itself becomes their motivation. – Linda Mihalic, February 9, 2013.

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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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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
The original Pioneering Mystic,
Christian Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

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 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

In jealousy there is more self-love than love.—François de La Rochefoucauld

O jealousy! thou magnifier of trifles.—Johann Friedrich von Schiller


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.

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 and Co. Ltd., 1912.

Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

The Nag Hammadi Library. James M. Robinson, ed. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1988.

The Oxford English Dictionary: Compact Ed., 2 vols. E.S.C. Weiner, ed. Oxford University Press, 1971.

Penn, William. "Of Jealousy," Fruits of Solitude, Part II, no. 190-195, 1-6. The Harvard Classics. New York: P.F. Collier and Son, 1909-14.

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.

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