Thursday July 15, 2004
InTouch Early Light Devotional
The Struggle With Jealousy
1 Samuel 18:5-16
Have you ever been jealous of someone else's success? Maybe your neighbor brought home a brand-new car this week, or perhaps someone at work just got the promotion you desired. When situations like these stir up inexplicable reactions within us, we just might have a problem.
Jealousy is the emotion of displeasure upon seeing someone else's good fortune. Let's think about that definition for a moment.
First, it is an emotion. Are your feelings always the clearest indicator of truth? Most often, the answer is no. In fact, Scripture says that our hearts are "deceitful." (Jeremiah 17:9) That means we cannot always trust them. We must instead focus on what we know to be true: God's Word.
Second, it is characterized by displeasure. Let me ask you a question: what pleases you? Does your joy depend on possessions and accolades, or do you draw your delight from the Lord? If your pleasure is found in "things," then you can expect a struggle with jealousy at any moment.
Third, it is directed at someone else. This is usually a problem of pride. In our proud spirit, we believe that we are entitled to someone else's blessings. In a sense, we are saying, "God, You gave this thing to that person, but You should have given it to me. You were wrong." We may not say it so blatantly, but our actions may be speaking louder than our words.
Jealousy works like a poison to disrupt healthy relationships. When you feel the beginnings of a jealous attitude, ask God to refocus your attention from "things" back onto Him.
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