Jealousy. It’s so ugly and shameful. It’s hurtful and makes us act crazy. But…most of us struggle with it. It’s usually a dark little secret that we keep tucked away, but the fact of the matter is, as much as we try to hide it, it can be seen by others.
There is something inside us that keeps us from celebrating the blessings of others. The job promotion, the new home, the healthy children, appearances, material things, success. That “one thing” strikes us green with jealousy.
God just knew that we would struggle with jealousy. In fact, He referenced jealousy in two of the ten commandments. Commandment seven references stealing someone else’s property and commandment ten references the “wanting to” take someone else’s property. Jealousy has been around since the beginning of time.
In my reading this morning (Numbers 11:23-29), I was struck by how Joshua was jealous of the two outside the camp that the Spirit of the Lord fell on and the two started to prophesy. To give a little background to this passage, Moses was told by God to gather 70 men to help with the burden of leadership. The Lord came down in the cloud and took some of the power of the Spirit that was on Moses and put it on the 70. Separately, the Spirit also came upon two men that were back at camp and were not a part of the 70.
First off (nothing that relates to jealousy, but is really cool), from this passage it’s so awesome to be reminded that God can do WHATEVER HE WANTS! Moses chose 70, but apparently didn’t choose two others that God wanted chosen, so God’s Spirit fell on those two in addition to the 70 anyway!
Second, when Joshua (Moses’ right hand man) found out that two men back at camp had the Spirit of the Lord resting on them and were prophesying, he went to Moses and asked Moses to “restrain them.” Moses responded by saying, “Are you jealous for my sake?” Joshua, was concerned for Moses’ honor and authority. Joshua wanted Moses to have all authority and not be threatened by the two that were “outsiders.” He was jealous that the two received power without Moses initiating it.
Even as Christians, we can be jealous of another Christian’s giftings. God’s Spirit had rested on Moses, but God also chose to rest on the two that had nothing to do with Moses. God chooses where He wants to go and what He wants to do and as Christians we need to celebrate each other. We need to celebrate the giftings that He gives. We need to celebrate promotions, opportunities, and blessings that God gives others.
If you struggle with jealousy, start to thank God for the blessings of others instead of coveting them. Thank God for your co-worker’s promotion. Thank God for your friend’s healthy birth. Thank God for the person that got the job you so desperately wanted. Thank God for that beautiful house your best friend just bought. Thank God for the award that your friend’s child just received.
When we have a thankful heart and we are the biggest cheerleader for the people around us, our hearts will be satisfied and full, lacking nothing!