Today’s scripture: Mark 9:38-41; Galatians 5:19-20; Proverbs 27:4
Remember earlier in the day when the disciples were unable to cast the demon out of the young boy? Jesus resolved the situation by delivering the boy and instructing the disciples about prayer and fasting.
Later in the day they came across a man who was successful in driving demons out of people. But, instead of rejoicing that someone could do what they could not, the disciples told the man to stop because “he wasn’t one of us.” Their own jealousy over another person’s success stifled both the other man’s ministry as well as their own.
Envy is different from jealousy. Envy is a strong desire to have what someone else has. Jealousy, however, sets up an insidious guard over what we already possess, whether it’s a possession, a person, a specific talent, an identity—or a ministry. We don’t want anyone else to have it, do it, or be it. Paul included jealousy in the list of acts of the sinful nature. And, Solomon cautioned that it’s worse than anger. It’s an insidious form of selfishness that is often rooted in insecurity.
The solution? Celebrate other people’s successes and encourage them to do even more. After all, every talent we have comes from the Lord anyway.
- How do you recognize jealousy in yourself? What are you trying to guard that the Lord wants you to release?
- How do you respond when someone else performs better than you in an area that is your expertise? What can you do to encourage them?