Read it! I Samuel 18
As they danced, they sang:
“Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.”
Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him.
“They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?”
Think it through
Saul began as a proud supporter of David. After all, David’s successes in battle were Saul’s successes. He promoted the young leader quickly. But as soon as Saul heard the people sing David’s praises, his heart changed. David had entered Saul’s territory, becoming more popular that he was in his land of Israel. Saul became jealous (vs 8), then watchful (vs 9), and then murderous (vs 11).
It’s easy to be happy for others, even proud of them, when we don’t compare their accomplishments to our own (or even, as in the case of our children, we feel we can take a little of the credit!). It’s much harder when these success stories approach our territory, the land in which we’d like to be the best.
First we feel that prick of jealousy and our hearts harden toward them. Next we become watchful, straining to learn news of their latest ventures. Before we know it, we start to wish for their failure and watch for their fall.
For me, it’s not the belongings these people own, but the successes they have. Parents whose kids seem to excel at so many things at once. Speakers with bigger gigs. Writers with larger followings. I‘ve been trying to challenge myself to pray for even more success for those people, and it does help my heart. I even find my body relaxing when I pray for them!
Live it like you mean it
Is there an area of your life in which you feel insecure or ill-at-ease, an area that’s undefended against jealousy? Who brings out the green-eyed monster in you?
I’m making a notes in my planner for each day of this week to pray for a gal with whom I’m frequently compared. Will you take up the challenge to pray for a “competitor” along with me?
Lift it up
God, You give Your spirit as you see fit. You give blessings and successes as You wish. I am not You. Not only do I humbly accept the amount of success You give to me, I praise You for the successes You’ve given to others. Please help me to guard my heart from jealousy! Amen
Tell Me About It
How do you fight the green-eyed monster? I’d love to hear your ideas!
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