Jealousy is defined as a zealous vigilance. Wow, that pretty well sums it all up….blog over. Nope, not yet. Jealousy has been the story line for our world since the beginning of time. One of the great apostles, Paul, had to deal with it on a daily basis because of what God was doing in his life. In both Acts 13:45 and Acts 17:5 scripture tells us that the end result of that jealousy was them hunting down and tearing into Paul and his companions. God was so evident in his life and his forthright way of proclaiming the mercies of God seared into the hearts and minds of those who were in charge at the time. Their remedy for the jealousy they felt was to strike out against Paul. Now hear me on this, cause this is important for us all. I have served with many ministers who were middle of the road, don’t hurt any one’s feelings, compromise the sharpness of God’s Word type of guys and ladies. They usually have scores of people who love them and feel much warmth and fuzziness with them. That warmth and fuzziness will continue until they proclaim something that God’s Word says that actually convicts one of their followers, then the trouble begins. If Paul and his followers would have come into the towns they visited and immediately made the message more palatable and easy, they would have made quick friends and no problems……But, not using the full message of Christ is taking matters into our own hands and when we water it down, so as not to hurt so much, the message loses all the effect it should have had when presented. In other words, compromise is one of the ways to keep people from getting jealous of you. Here’s what compromise in any form does. It lessens the conviction of what you are teaching. It joins you with those who are not of God totally. It takes the purity of what you are saying and taints the message completely. In other words, if you don’t want to have to deal with people getting jealous of you, then stay one step BEHIND them. In the Christian world we have scripture that speaks to the right attitude of serving Christ. 1 Peter 5:6 says, to “humble yourselves under God’s mighty hand, and at the right time, He will lift you up.” We are to be humble, but truthful. We are to be humble, but bold. We are to be humble, but active. We are to humble ourselves under God’s hand, which means we put ourselves on the back burner and God and His truth in the forefront of our speech and our lives. Just keep in mind that when God lifts you up, others will not understand all of your humility and they will sometimes get jealous and want to be your humbling representative. They don’t realize that when they strike out at someone who is totally immersed in God’s power, they strike out at God.
How do we handle jealousy? Well, look at the root. Jealousy begins when we aren’t happy with what we have or who we are. The desire to be where someone else is or to be someone else is kind of a natural thing for all of us. In fact, God wants us to channel that desire in the right direction and “be like God.” In Romans Paul shared the truth about being dissatisfied with who we are and what God is doing in our lives by saying in chapter 9: 20-21, But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to Him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purpose and some for common use? The argument in this case is dealing with the Gentiles, but base line it is dealing with how much God made us for His use, not ours. Defeating jealousy begins when we are sure of ourselves in Christ and know that we are special, as His creation, in His eyes and for His purpose. The phrase we see again and again is “God don’t make no junk.” It’s easy to say, but when we feel left out of something we should be left out of, we ask the big “why” and start to let jealousy burn on the stove of our mind. One word…..AVOID! It’s better to walk away sure of who you are than be jealous of someone God is working a totally different plan in. Common sense….sense.
Here are some helps for getting out of the jealousy pool:
1. Ask God to show you who you are and your importance in His kingdom. You do that through study in His Word. It would come under the topic heading “my value.” Psalm 139 is a great place to start and the rest is gravy.
2. Don’t get yourself involved in things God as has not equipped you to do. If you can’t sing well, don’t sing solos. If you can’t do carpentry, then don’t pick up the hammer. Be truthful with yourself and those around you and stay out of things that don’t apply to you. No, you are not supposed to be able to do everything you desire. Wake up call. You are probably just in the way of someone else who God enabled to do it. That moves into selfishness and we will discuss that in the days ahead.
3. Don’t get too enamored with those who are the “stars” of the faith. All of us are equally important to the gospel, and God has made some hands, some feet, some nostrils, etc… Do your thing and don’t try to be someone you aren’t.
4. If you can do something better than the one who is doing it now, then go somewhere else and do it. Sometimes we like to hide out under the leadership of someone else and we need to take our gifts elsewhere so they can be better used. You will only bring a bad spirit if you constantly critique someone else who is in charge of something you can also do.
5. Have a servant’s heart. A true servant cares about one thing. Serving. You are not serving if you are constantly jealous of those you serve with. You are letting your feelings overtake the whole point of the thing. Serving Christ. You will never serve Christ if you are always trying to serve yourself.
Are you vigilant to catch someone else in wrongdoing because of jealousy? Then you are damaging God’s plan. Are you vigilant to bring someone else down that God has lifted up? Then you are in direct conflict to God’s purpose. Is your jealousy poisoning the pool of peace in people’s lives? Then you are hurting God’s people. Time to change. Time to step down, so God can step you up. When you sense Him in your life, you are satisfied and jealousy is gone!!!
The Pilgrimage continues…