(1 Samuel 18: 12-15) 12 Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had departed from Saul. 13 So he sent David away from him and gave him command over a thousand men, and David led the troops in their campaigns. 14 In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him. 15 When Saul saw how successful he was, he was afraid of him.
As we grow older, it’s inevitable that someone younger will come along who threatens our status in some way. Maybe they will be better looking, smarter, funnier, more talented, sharper, more charming, have better ideas, or create successes in our areas of failure. However it happens to manifest, there always comes that time when we are no longer the latest and greatest at what we do. For some people this is unbearable, and it slowly begins to breed negative thoughts and feelings such as envy, jealousy, resentment, and even hatred.
Jealousy is nasty business. It’s not a sin to FEEL jealous. It’s not a sin to FEEL threatened and cast aside. We are human beings and God gave us our feelings. However, when we begin to allow those feelings to take root and bear their ugly fruit…that’s when sin is born and latches onto us like a hungry baby, feeding off of our every whim like sweet milk.
James 3:16 says, “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.”
We can’t allow jealousy to exist. Instead we must cast it down with the truth of God’s word, knowing that because we have the spirit of God dwelling within us, we have power over our minds. “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Instead of allowing jealousy to lead us into sin, why don’t we try reevaluating our roles in the lives of others? If we are called to love, then let’s truly do that. In the body of Christ there is no room for competition and envy. We have a responsibility not only to the world, but also to one another. We must take part in the spiritual growth and development of our brothers and sisters in Christ, and consider doing so a privilege.
So encourage each other and build each other up… (1Thessalonians 5:11)
When we are focused on love and encouragement, we become willing to take a back seat to someone else for a change. We begin to realize that being an usher for the a new generation of leaders and “doers” is an honor. When you have taken the time to feed into the life of someone else, when you have been willing to be humble and truly crucify the flesh, when you have resolved to walk beside (and yes, sometimes even BEHIND) someone with similar gifts and talents…that’s when you begin to conquer the “green-eyed monster” within.
Prayer: Father God, I recognize my own tendencies to allow jealousy to become more than just a momentary feeling. I see its potential to cause harm and all of the ways that it can damage lives and relationships within the church. Help me to love and support my spiritual family and to remember the beauty and blessing that comes from sowing seed and watching it flourish in the lives of others. Amen.