Sunday, July 1, 2012

There's a Monster in the Mirror: Jealousy

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(If you missed the introduction to the series, find it here.)

Want to know one of the fastest ways to start feeling jealous, without ever stepping foot in a mall or attending a bridal shower? It's fairly simple: just log in to Facebook. While certainly Facebook can be used as a tool for encouragement and building relationships, it can easily turn into a wide world web of jealousy and envy. Why does she look so happy with her boyfriend? How come she always seems to have it all together? That family is going on ANOTHER vacation? How did they get such a big house? Why does she have so many friends and people who like her status?

Sometimes it doesn't even matter if we'd actually enjoy what we're coveting. If someone has it harder than we do, perhaps we secretly envy their lifestyle and endurance and wish we could look like a martyr, too. Or if someone has it easier than we do, we wish we lived their life of (seeming) luxury and ease.

When we're single, we're jealous of people in dating relationships. When we're dating, we're jealous of married people. When we're married, we're jealous of people with kids or without kids--whichever grass looks greener at the moment! When we're parents (I can only imagine), we're jealous of other people's kids and lifestyles and all the free time of single people... which brings us full circle, back to the single person, doesn't it?

If we could just see how silly we are sometimes--like one worm wishing he could be a different worm! How often we forget that the King of Kings left His glorious throne in Heaven to enter into our world in the form of a helpless baby, who would grow up to be the servant of many, ministering to the miserable and washing the feet of sinners.

You know who the Bible talks about as being a particularly envious people? The Pharisees and teachers of the law. And where did their jealousy take them? To Calvary. To nailing Jesus to a cross.

We may minimize or ignore or just rationalize our jealousy as a normal part of human life, but we essentially have two choices: we can crucify our own desires, seeking not our own good but the good of others, and living a life focused on Christ and not ourselves... or we can crucify Christ all over again by living in sin, according to the flesh.

Have thine affections been nailed to the cross?