1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Jealousy is a very dangerous thing. Many of us are aware that this is a very blinding thing, but not aware of how subtle a thing it really is. Take a look at Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42. Mary and Martha are thrown into the middle of this type of situation. Martha was being the good host and preparing things for the guests. She was doing the right thing that was expected of her. Mary on the other was doing something different. Women during that time were not supposed to sit at the feet of Jesus. That was reserved for men who were learning from the rabbi to one day lead their own students. Martha was being allowed to sit their and learn.
We all have moments where we are doing what everyone says is the right thing to do. Yet there always seems to be someone who seems to be getting a better deal. They don’t do what’s expected of them, yet God seems to take them into incredible moments of blessing and opportunity.
Martha asked God to set Mary straight. She needed to be put in her place. I don’t think it had to do with her doing something wrong. It had everything to do with wanting to be in Mary’s shoes. Martha was trapped by a desire to do the expected right thing, but was missing out what was actually the best thing. God incarnate was in that house ready to share His wisdom with her. Jealousy is never about someone doing right or wrong. It’s always about us not getting the good experience we expect. We expect that when we do the right thing we get blessed. Chances are, the exact opposite happens. Something breaks, a medical situation comes up, or money is drained from your account due to the bills. All the while, someone else we know is getting blessed with opportunity to grow.
Jealousy is a natural result of seeing someone else get the blessing you think you deserve, but what jealousy turns into is worse. It first robs you of your worth. Most people attach their worth to their circumstances. When life is good they are good. When life is bad, they are bad.
Jealousy also robs others of worth. Try talking with someone or about someone your jealous of. It’s really difficult. What happens is the jealousy in the end disrupts unity. You can’t be united with someone you’re jealous of.
Jealousy in the end does three things…
- Robs you of your worth
- Robs others of their worth
- Tears down unity
To get rid of jealousy you have to buy into love first. Choose to be proud of another person’s achievements. God followers should never be jealous of another follower. If you pit yourself in a them vs me mindset, you will eventually find yourself jealous of them. But If you join together with them in the same movement and truly focus on the same goal, then you have no reason to be jealous because you are sharing the success and glory. Martha pitted herself against Mary and not only was jealous, but was missing a moment of divine opportunity.
There’s always somebody that has more money, a bigger house, a faster car, or the coolest gadget. There is always somebody who seems to have it better spiritually also. We can either choose jealousy and experience loneliness, or embrace community and find a reason to rejoice together.