When the famous sculptor Michelangelo and the painter Raphael were creating works of art to beautify the Vatican, a bitter spirit of rivalry rose up between them. Whenever they met, they refused to talk to each other. Yet each was supposedly doing his work for the glory of God.
Jealousy often parades behind the façade for religious zeal. Miriam and Aaron criticized their brother Moses for marrying an Ethiopian. But God’s anger revealed that it was actually jealousy that prompted their criticism. Out of jealousy, Saul sought to kill David, whom God had chosen to succeed Saul as king. And when the apostle Paul was in prison, some people were jealous of the way God was using him that they preached Christ in order to add to the apostle’s distress.
We can overcome this harmful attitude, but first we must identify it. Jealousy believes that someone else is getting what we deserve – whether money, popularity, wisdom, skill, or spiritual maturity. Second, we must confess it. Call it what it is – sin. And third, we must give thanks. The moment we see someone enjoying any advantage, we must accept it with gratitude. We can keep jealousy in check by refusing to compare ourselves with others.
As we learn to find our satisfaction in God, His grace enables us to rejoice with those who rejoice. When we do that, we have little room for envy. – Dennis J. De Haan
When we turn green with jealousy, we are ripe for trouble.
- April 23, Vol. 1, Our Daily Bread