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The Jealousy Robe


I played keyboard and sang in our  youth choir when I was a youth.  We had another guy who played keyboard from time to time, but he was not very dependable, and not very good at playing the songs we were playing.  So, the director told me he was depending on me to be there and play the songs right. I took it to heart, and proceeded to master the songs so I wouldn’t be the weak link in the band.  I wanted to help make it all come together as good as possible.  At the next practice I came to  the practice area and there at “my” keyboard sat the other guy, planning to play.  I looked at the director and he looked very sheepish and I knew the guy had forced his way back into the group.  So, I sat down and waited my turn.  They started playing the first song and I could tell it was a struggle for the other guy and that it was becoming a struggle for the whole band because the keyboard had some important parts that held the whole thing together.  Finally the director turned to the guy at “my” keyboard and said, “Let David play on this song so we can get through it.”  The guy stood up and said,”Why.  He’s not near as good as I am!”  “I’m the better player!”  I had taken a back seat to him all I could and just stood up went to “my” keyboard and sat down and started playing the song like it needed to be played.  The other guy stood up and yelled something I couldn’t distinguish and stormed out.  He never came back to the band, despite the leaders attempts to get him to come and play on certain songs.  It upset me to think that I had forced this guy out and I went and told my fears to the director.  He assured me that it wasn’t my fault, but the fault of the guy who wanted to play the keyboard and get the recognition.  He was jealous.  Jealous (def) – resentment  against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, or against another’s success or advantage itself.   Wow!  I didn’t expect that definition.  I, as well as many others, have been looking at jealousy in the wrong way.  It’s not about being envious necessarily.  It is about pride and competition.  In Acts 5:17 scripture says, “the high priests and all his associates, who were members of the party of the sadducees, were filled with jealousy.”  That was the first problem. Verse 18 –“They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail.”  That was the second problem.  Verse 19 – “But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out.”  That was the solution to the problem provided by the Lord.   The Lord had a plan and He was going to take care of letting that plan be completed, even with the jealousy of the “religious” leaders.  Here is a fictional story that drives home the problem of jealousy.  It is called The Jealousy Robe.

A young man was given a robe after working very hard to earn it.  That robe was the result of all his hard work and he was very proud of it.  He believed he earned it.  The one who gave him the robe was a very great King who believed in justice, grace, and righteousness.  The robe was to be a confidence builder for the young man, so that he might do even more for the King.  Along came another young man who did the same job in half the time with half the effort because he was gifted with extraordinary talents by the King to do the work.  That young man knew the King had gifted him to do these things and his way of praising the king was using the gift he was given for the good of the kingdom.  The young man who was a hard worker soon became jealous of the gifted young man and started to hate him.  He began to criticize the gifted young man to make him doubt that he had any talent at all and he also shamed the gifted young man by telling him he was worthless and prideful.  Before long the gifted young man quit trying to work for the King and quit using his gifts for the King’s glory.  The King was very sad that the very one He had gifted had quit using his gift and could not figure out what had happened.  One day when riding through the kingdom he overheard the worker young man criticizing the gifted young man and realized he was trying to keep him from using his gift.  The King was enraged and went to the young man who had earned the robe and took the robe off his back and immediately the young man’s countenance changed from evil to good.  He started seeing the good in the gifted  young man and realized that he was chosen by the King for good.  So instead of criticizing him, he started praising his work and the gifted young man became even better in doing his work and joy filled the kingdom.  The worker young man started missing the beautiful robe he had once worn and longed to wear it again, because it made him feel he had worth.  He snuck into the inner chamber and took the robe and put it on again.  His countenance changed immediately and he once again started putting down his rival, the gifted young man.  Before long joy once again left the kingdom and a cloud had formed over the whole place because of The Jealousy Robe.  The King came once again to the working young man and saw he had the robe on and took it off of him.  In leaving him, the King told him “This robe was given to you as a gift.  Not because you earned it.  You will always be jealous of the gifted young man if you think I gave this to you because of your works.”  

Jealousy always comes when we think we have done something to receive what we have and The Jealousy Robe will draw us back every time.  Everything we have has been given to us by the King of kings and he wants it to be used for His kingdom.  Jealousy robs the kingdom of the joy that the King has planned for it.   Don’t put on the jealousy robe and God’s work will flourish as never before.  The high priests and his associates in Acts 5 thought they could stop what God had ordained through Peter and the apostles, but found out that when God wants something done, no prison in the world can keep it from happening.

Truth to be told:  Don’t try to imprison God working through a person by putting on The Jealousy Robe.  He will accomplish his task irregardless of what you try to do.  In reality he has gifted some people to naturally do His will and that is a good thing.  The moment they try to earn that gift that has been freely given is the moment that gift has become tainted.  May they never put on the jealousy robe….Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one my boast.”


The Pilgrimage continues….


David Warren

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