Have you ever been jealous? I have. My friend just lost 10 lbs and can fit in her high school jeans, yup, I am jealous. The neighbors got a new car and I have to walk outside each day and see how pretty it looks compared to my 12 year old beast. Yep, I want a new car too! My friend on FB went on this amazing vacation and the pictures are surreal. I am so tired... I could use an amazing vacation. The list goes on right? There are so many things daily that I could be jealous of. Do you relate? I can't be the only one?
It's sad to me that even in doing good things, I can get jealous. Another woman teaches an amazing Bible study and I find myself sitting there wishing I had said those things. The church across town has 5000 people when it simply opens it's doors and I struggle to find 50 people who want to read the Bible together and I get jealous. A stranger shares her thoughts on a Bible verse and it goes viral and people around the world want to hear her speak. I get jealous. I want those things too. Then I read God's word. He has this amazing way of quieting my heart. Of dealing with really ugly sins and pointing me in the direction He has for me.
“Thieves are jealous of each other’s loot, but the godly are well rooted and bear their own fruit.” Proverbs 12:12 NLT
When I am jealous of what others have, or are doing, even if it is godly things. I am being like a thief. Trying to steal what isn't mine. Thieves are paranoid. Thieves are always wondering if they are going to get caught. Thieves aren't genuine and have no lasting impact other than the destruction they cause the ones they steal from.
If I am being godly, listening to His voice, obeying what He has told me to do, then my life will bear fruit. It will be nutritious. It will taste great. It will be a source of refreshment to others. It doesn't have to feed the world, it simply has to do the purpose God has for it. Just because my fruit doesn't look or seem as grand as someone else's fruit, doesn't mean it is any less valuable.
I don't want to be jealous of others blessings. I don't want to be the one sitting back and deciding if they deserve it or not. I want to be godly. I want to be so focused on God and what He is daily telling me to do, and bear my own fruit.
God has great things for each of us. It's a foreign concept, but instead of being jealous, really try to celebrate others blessings. Celebrate their victories. Celebrate the lives and souls that get to be saved through the larger church, the international ministries, the viral videos. Be excited that the Gospel is going out and not worried that you weren't the one who got to say it. Be truly happy when you see your friends grow spiritually and be able to communicate it in ways that bless and encourage others around them.
The Bible is very clear that who we think is great here on earth isn't necessarily going to be who is great in heaven. Jesus, our greatest example of who we are to be, teaches us to be a servant. A servant isn't focused on what others have or others are doing. A servant is focused on what they can do for others. Don't be a thief, be a servant. It helps so much with that sin of jealousy. Because once jealousy sneaks in, you start to be discontent with every area of your life and you lose your joy in all that you do have and you miss out!
Dear God, Help me to be so focused on you and what you have for me that I stop inspecting or wanting what everyone else has. Help me to be genuine and content to simply obey you in what you have for me. The fruit you give me in my life is wonderful and I am so thankful for it. Keep me focused on Jesus. Help me to be a servant just like Him. Keep me focused on what you have for me and not everyone else. I love you God, thank you for taking the time to show me the ugly sin of jealousy, pointing it out to me in my heart, letting me confess it, and then removing it from me. You are amazing! I pray all of this in Jesus name. Amen.
“But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.””
Matthew 20:25-28 NLT