Fighting off Jealousy

The following is an excerpt from OUR DAILY BREAD, a daily devotional that available free to anyone who would like to have one.

“The story is told of two shopkeepers who were bitter rivals.  They spent each day keeping track of each other’s business.  If one got a customer, he would smile triumphantly at his rival.

“One night an angel appeared to one of the shopkeepers in a dream and said, ‘I will give you anything you ask, but whatever you receive, your competitor will receive twice as much.  What is your desire?’  The man frowned and then said, ‘Strike me blind in one eye.’  Now that’s jealousy of the worst kind!

“The self-destructive emotion of jealousy had the potential of tearing apart the Corinthian church.  These believers had received the gospel but had not allowed the Holy Spirit to change their hearts.  As a result, they became jealous of one another, which led to a divided community.  Paul identified their jealousy as a sign of immaturity and worldliness (of the world vs of Godliness*) (1 Cor. 3:3).  These believers were not acting like people who had been transformed by the gospel.

“One of the clearest indicators that the Holy Spirit is working in our lives is our contentment and our thankfulness for what we have.  Then, instead of experiencing jealousy, we are able to geniunely celebrate the gifts and blessings of others.” – authored by Marvin Williams.

Now one would say that this story illustrates the ridiculousness of envy, rivalry and jealousy.  Instead of focusing on the blessings and gifts the angel would provide to all, an embittered heart opted to choose total destruction so both he and his competitor would be hurt.  I know, dear reader, you are probably finding this story and what it illustrates to be ludicrious in its nature.  But, think about it.  How many times in a fit of anger or rage do we see full out destructive behavior demonstrated in our own communities, maybe within our own families.  Domestic violence, and in some cases even death, are the result of this rage and jealousy. 

While these are extreme outcomes from jealousy, then what about the lies and tendency to deceitfulness that results when we want to ruin another’s reputation.  Our words, stated with the intent to harm, are just as mean and destructive as acting out a violent scenario.  We choose to let our hearts be subject to the lies and deceit of this world when we continue to believe that violence and rageful outbursts are okay, whether we are seeing it in our media, on movie content or reality TV, this display of immature behavior is NOT okay.

 If our hearts are following a path of love and obedience to God we reduce the possibility of being subjected to this type of manic and destructive behavior.  If you ever wonder why should one build a relationship with God this is one of the very valid and basic reasons why.  He keeps our hearts out of trouble so we are less vunerable to be subject to acts of violence against ourselves and others. 

2 Responses to “Fighting off Jealousy”

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