I recently had the unhappy experience of finding out that someone who had always smiled in my face and affected a sincere friendship and concern for my well-being was actually going behind my back and running me down with other people. As bad as that is, what makes it worse is that this person appears to have been motivated by petty jealousy because I’ve got things in my life that they don’t have. Although they don’t need those things and the fact that I have them isn’t doing them one single BIT of harm, they just resent the existence of what they see as an unfair situation.
Petty jealousy of this kind was a problem for the disciples of Jesus, as recorded in the Gospel of John 21:19-22; “Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me!” Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; the one who also had leaned back on His bosom at the supper and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” So Peter seeing him said to Jesus, “Lord, and what about this man?” Jesus *said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!”
In crude (but easily understood) language, Jesus was telling Peter to mind his own business and not worry about what gifts He might be ready to give someone else, because different people need different gifts in order to do different work and carry out different assignments in the Kingdom. So the King (Jesus) gives different gifts, talents, abilities, etc. to different servants. One servant shouldn’t look with jealousy on the gift He might give to another servant so that that servant will be equipped to do a different job. He gives to all what they need, and if he didn’t give something to you it’s for your own good that you don’t have it because it would just get in your way, distract you or slow you down. Or worse, it could become a MAJOR distraction for you, even to the point of becoming an idol.
There’s one other thing that’s important to remember about jealousy. It’s really stupid and self-defeating to nurse feelings of jealousy, because although the people we’re jealous of might have things that we want, they almost certainly also have a bunch of things we DON’T want. They’ve got responsibilities we don’t want (that might be why God gave them those things they have that we don’t that we think we want) and most of the time they also have problems that we don’t have and maybe have never even heard of.
That’s what I’ve got for you this week brothers and sisters. I hope it blessed someone.