Jealousy vs. Gratitude; June 10, 2017


1 Samuel 18:28-29 When Saul realised that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal loved David, Saul became still more afraid of him, and he remained his enemy for the rest of his days.

Jealousy is such a sad thing. We see it all the time, with people being unable to rejoice in others’ blessings. We tend to look at life as a zero-sum game, forgetting that God is infinite. One person being more blessed doesn’t mean that another person is less blessed. We have such trouble grasping that. Some areas of life are indeed competitive, and that’s not bad. Not everyone comes in first in a race, regardless of schools that give out participation trophies. That said, one person can be blessed in one area and another in a different area. We fail to see that, and particularly fail to recognize the areas in which we ourselves are blessed. A major difference between Saul and David was the matter of gratitude. Saul was greatly blessed, but he somehow felt entitled to what he had. David was greatly blessed, and he never could get over the magnitude of God’s grace toward him. The outcomes of their lives could not have been more different. In the physical universe, entropy is seen as a given. That is, everything runs down eventually, ending in chaos. However, that ignores the Creator, who can and does speak things into existence. In our personal lives, entropy does seem to apply to our physical bodies, so if we are focused on the physical we will be jealous and fatalistic. However, when our focus is on the spiritual, we realize that entropy simply doesn’t apply. The more we are aware of our infinite Father God, the less room we will have for jealousy and the more we will be able to receive and enjoy His grace toward us.

I was surprised the other day when I was at the hospital talking with a dermatologist about scheduling surgery on a minor spot on my leg. When I wouldn’t schedule it for my wedding anniversary, and then mentioned that doing it a week later meant that I would be having ice cream with my wife that day because it was the 31st (and Baskin Robbins has a 31% discount every 31st) she said, “You really enjoy life, don’t you.” I’ve had other people comment the same sort of thing, and I feel it comes from recognizing grace and blessings. I can’t say that I’m never envious of others, but I’m grateful that I don’t want others to do badly so that I’ll look good by comparison. God is more than big enough to bless us all! Spiritually speaking, God operates on negative entropy! In His kingdom it’s never a zero-sum game, but rather ever-increasing glory. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Father, I am saddened to see so many people operating in jealousy, not understanding Your love for them or recognizing how You express it. Help me be increasingly effective in speaking Your truth to them in love so that the destructive lies of the devil may be defeated in their hearts and lives. I pray that more and more people would be liberated from bondage to the physical to rejoice in Your infinite blessings, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

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About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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