When I was a kid, I had a friend who had a computer before everyone else owned one. I was jealous of the games he was able to play anytime he wanted. I had another friend whose parents would buy him all the cool snacks and cereals that were popular on TV commercials. I was jealous of the food he was able to eat anytime he wanted. I had another friend who was extremely athletic and fast. He excelled at every sport he played. I was jealous of the attention he received when he played. My brother was always twice the size of me. He could pick me up and throw me across the room if he wanted. I was jealous of his size and strength.
The comparison game follows us all through out our life doesn't it? In the book of Acts we read about the destruction a little bit of jealousy can cause. Take a look:
Paul and Silas then traveled through the towns of Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As was Paul’s custom, he went to the synagogue service, and for three Sabbaths in a row he used the Scriptures to reason with the people. 3 He explained the prophecies and proved that the Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead. He said, “This Jesus I’m telling you about is the Messiah.” 4 Some of the Jews who listened were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with many God-fearing Greek men and quite a few prominent women.
5 But some of the Jews were jealous, so they gathered some troublemakers from the marketplace to form a mob and start a riot. They attacked the home of Jason, searching for Paul and Silas so they could drag them out to the crowd. 6 Not finding them there, they dragged out Jason and some of the other believers instead and took them before the city council. “Paul and Silas have caused trouble all over the world,” they shouted, “and now they are here disturbing our city, too. 7 And Jason has welcomed them into his home. They are all guilty of treason against Caesar, for they profess allegiance to another king, named Jesus.”
8 The people of the city, as well as the city council, were thrown into turmoil by these reports. 9 So the officials forced Jason and the other believers to post bond, and then they released them.
In this Scripture, jealousy caused a gathering of trouble makers, probably some gossip, a bit of slander, and a full out attack on the home of an innocent man. Now that you are an adult, what does your jealousy release? When you begin to compare yourself to others do you become bitter? Maybe you try to bandage your jealous spirit with purchasing something new? Maybe you try to find faults in those you are jealous of and start to gossip? Or perhaps, you recognize the importance of the last of the 10 commandments, "Though shall not covet." Maybe the pain of jealousy should cause us to immediately turn our discontent into a conversation with The Father. What if we released our jealousy in our prayers instead of in our actions? Take some time to reflect today on how you are doing in staying away from the comparison game. If you find some discontentedness, show it to God and allow him to begin a new work within you.
With sincere love for each of you,