Wednesday, October 1, 2014


"I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself…" 2 Corinthians 11:2

Have you ever experienced anyone being jealous of you? I experienced it once for a season and it literally made me physically and emotionally sick. In some ways I am thankful I experienced what it is like to be on the receiving end of jealousy because it helps me to understand where my rich Muslim friends are coming from when they fear the jealous eye.

Shahnaz was dressed, as was her custom, like someone coming out of Vogue magazine. It had been an interesting year getting to know this wealthy woman and now it was time to say farewell at the airport. She frequently fretted about her girls in public school, perceiving them to be bullied because they came from a rich family even though nothing had actually happened to the girls. She was convinced that other children would be jealous of her girls and finally not able to cope with her anxiety over their well-being removed them from school. Shortly after that they returned to their homeland.

 Wealthy people have their own unique fears and anxieties. I have asked rich Muslim friends if they think God ever gets jealous over us? Not understanding what I mean I explain that we are so valuable and loved by God that He gets jealous if we forget Him. His jealousy comes from love, not greed or covetousness. He loves us so much He fights on our behalf.

One day I drove over to Bushra’s house. It was the first time to visit her in her new home. She took me on a tour of the entire home informing me which stores her furniture with intricate carvings had been purchased from. There were expensive chandeliers and ornate brass and crystal ornaments everywhere and beautiful woven carpets. The interior decorating was first class. Some of the ornate items were brought from her homeland. In her culture the display of wealth is very important. It seems to give them an enlarged sense of value and self-worth. I was left speechless with the dazzling beauty of man-made things. I asked her if the people in her community got jealous of her home. When afraid of jealousy some will hang blue eye amulets for protection on their walls or  sprinkle some blood from a slaughtered sheep in their yards to protect their homes from the evil jealous eye.   

Muslim friends who are in the low or middle economic strata have their own unique fears and anxieties. Some wonder how they will survive. Others feel shame at not owning a better house in a classier neighborhood, new car, brand name furniture or the latest digital gadgets. However, fear of others being jealous of them is not as prevalent or pervading as among rich Muslims. The fear of the jealous evil eye plagues rich people. There is a destructive jealousy right from the pit of hell and then there is righteous life-giving jealousy from God. It is an interesting conversation to have with rich Muslims.

Dear heavenly Father, thank you that I don’t have to fear the evil jealous eye because your loving jealous eye over me is so much stronger and protective. In Jesus’ name, Amen.