Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 25, 2015
And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David. 1 Samuel 18:9
Jealousy is destructive. It can destroy your reputation, your relationships, your health, and your favor from God. Jealousy is insidious, as it gradually creeps into your life over time. Slowly and surely it enflames your anger and squelches your joy. Instead of celebrating the success of another, jealousy resents not being the center of attention. A relationship that started out as supportive and encouraging can turn 180 degrees to one of criticism and betrayal. Jealousy creates relational dysfunction that begins with sympathy toward the one who is infected, but quickly regresses to dismay from those who are affected by jealousy’s tantrums. Insecurity feeds jealousy, for there is a sense of not experiencing God’s blessing in the same way another is experiencing God’s blessing. “Therefore, I must be inferior,” is the lie that is tolerated. If you believe this deception long enough, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, because jealousy feeds inferiority.
Jealousy is truly a green-eyed monster seeking to destroy everyone in its path. It does not discriminate. Rather it indoctrinates at every level of society. Jealousy drives the poor to bad mouth the rich because of their wealth and opportunities. The wealthy can become jealous of the less successful because of their simple and carefree lives. Women are jealous of women, and men are jealous of men. You can become jealous of another’s spouse, children, or career.
You can even be jealous of one’s relationship with God because He is not blessing you with the same intensity that He is blessing someone else. Jealousy is a game that no one wins, and it makes Satan smile. So how do you deal with jealousy? If jealousy is directed toward you, seek to disarm it with confrontation and grace. Instead of talking about the jealous offender to others, confront the person in their disillusionment, and help them understand this destructive path. Jealousy needs to be extracted from the heart, as if by a skilled surgeon. Ultimately, only God can perform the procedure. But you can be God’s conduit to bring the issue to the surface, and urge the offender to come clean. The person may not respond immediately, but at least you have planted the seed. Then others who have been silent will be inspired by your boldness, and they may speak candidly to the jealous one.
If you are the object of another’s jealousy, do not make room for jealousy’s accusations. If you are “suffering” from success, quickly and often give God and others the credit for your good fortune. Leave no question for doubt that you recognize the contribution of the team, and that you are just one of the facilitators of the process. Deflect attention from yourself to others and God. Don’t have a false humility, but an authentic humility that communicates grace and truth.
Lastly, if jealousy haunts you and you are enamored with its seduction, admit it, and confess it as sin. Do not be deceived any longer. Learn to celebrate the successes of others and let gratitude be the driving force of your life. Be content with what you have, and trust God with what you don’t have. Disciples of Jesus are to rise above immature and worldly ways. Be yourself, and thank God that He has made you the way you are.
The Bible says, “You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?” (I Corinthians 3:3).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, replace my insecurity and jealousy with Your security and joy.
Application: Who can I celebrate with others over their success?
Post/Tweet this today: Celebrate the successes of others and let gratitude energize your life. #jealousy #wisdomhunters
Worship Resource: 4 minute video- Gaithers: Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
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© 2015 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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