I heard a new one the other day. Someone said that they had a ‘godly jealousy’ over their spouse. (The spouse was connecting only to another family member, not the opposite sex) Now Paul said he had a godly jealousy over the Church because he had a desire to see them serving the Lord in righteousness and not be tempted away by false doctrines. But I read of no place where a man or a woman can have a ‘godly’ jealousy over their spouse’s relationship with his or her birth family. That ‘jealousy’ is old-fashioned selfishness and resentment because the spouse is paying loving attention to those they grew up with. THAT kind of jealousy is NOT condoned by God.
Now that it comes to mind, I’ve seen over and over where church people take plain old carnal feelings and stick the word godly in front of it and suddenly, as though that word ‘godly’ is an abracadabra, it becomes okay. Godly anger, godly jealousy, godly hatred, godly wrath, godly lust, godly vengeance, godly miserliness --they all are dressing up plain old anger, jealousy, hatred, lust vengeance, etc. in a fancy suit to make it pass by spiritual review.
We are fooling ourselves. Simply putting the word godly before an emotion in no way makes it acceptable before God. Yet we see it happening all the time. A man gets mad because his wife spends some time with the other women of the congregation and he calls it a ‘godly jealousy’ or ‘godly anger.’ A woman is resentful because her husband controls her extravagant spending and she calls her attitude ‘godly concern’ for her family’s well being. A man feels compelled to retaliate toward someone for a perceived betrayal or hurt, but since God says we are not to return evil for evil, he calls his course of action ‘godly vengeance.’ And it goes on and on.
Let’s be careful not to try and disguise carnality with a ‘godly’ camouflage.