The Jaundice of Jealousy

“At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, ‘We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.’”— Daniel 6:4–5 (NIV)

17th century writer John Dryden once posited, “Jealousy is the jaundice of the soul.” Have you ever experienced the wrath of a jealous person? Maybe someone has been (or is) jealous because you got that promotion or their crush has a crush on you. I’ve heard many stories of people who have tried to sabotage someone’s career and ruin a relationship because they were so consumed by jealousy and covetousness.

In today’s Scripture verse, we see the jealousy of the other administrators and satraps (governors of the provinces of Persia) consume them to the point they sought to get rid of Daniel by any means necessary. These people looked for any trace of corruption in Daniel, but couldn’t find anything. Why? Because Daniel was truly trustworthy. He was hardworking, honest, respectful, and reliable. Thus, these jealous leaders had nothing on him.

Daniel lived his life and did his job in a way that glorified God and demonstrated His goodness and faithfulness to those who honor Him. This is why Daniel prospered and grew to the highest standing in the empires he served. Realizing the deep level of devotion and obedience of Daniel to God, these leaders realized their only hope of getting rid of Daniel would be putting him in a situation where he’d be forced to choose between honoring the Lord or compromising himself.

Friends, can I tell you something? There will be people in this world who will try to bring you down, who will hate you simply because you love and live for Jesus. I’ve found that often, when a God-honoring, faithful, and obedient believer succeeds and is given influence, the attacks come hard and fast. Bible expositor Grant Richison wrote, “Whenever we find ourselves in leadership whether in politics, business, or Christian work, there are those who are jealous of our accomplishments. Their envy will attempt to diminish us. They will look for any weakness, any flaw to detract from the leader.” Why? Because “Christian leaders are always targets of Satan to undermine the trust of God’s work.”

So, what can we do? “Fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12 NIV), “press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:12 NIV), and fix “our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:2 NIV). When we do that, even though we may encounter trouble, even though we may have people who try to knock us down or take us out, we can rest assured and be confident that we are following in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus, that He sees us, He’s gone before us, He is working it all out for our good, and that we have a reward waiting for us in heaven!

DIG: Why do you believe there is often so much jealousy and hostility toward believers, especially believers with influence?

DISCOVER: How are you ensuring that you remain above reproach and trustworthy like Daniel?

DO: Pray for Christian leaders and believers of influence around the world today, that the Lord would give them strength, patience, endurance, and a renewal of His Spirit daily to endure the flaming arrows of the enemy.