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July 6, 2018 Daily Devotion from Vernon UMC

Devotional at Vernon UMC

Jealousy

06 JUL 2018

"...And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person's envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind..."
~ Ecclesiastes

Most of us have experienced jealousy at some stage in our lives. Sometimes we have dished it out ourselves and other times it has been served to us. Jealousy is everywhere: in families between partners, parents and children, between siblings; in the workplace between employees, with their bosses and with competitors; in schools between students, between teachers and pupils, amongst staff and so on. But have we asked ourselves what jealousy actually is? It has become so rife in our human interactions that rarely have we stopped to really feel the full effect of this force and consider deeply the impact it has on our bodies and our beings, or the crippling effect it can have in our lives and on those around us.

Jealousy is one of the most destructive forces on Earth, attacking both the one wielding it and the one receiving it. When the force comes through us, it is aimed at 'annihilating' those who we find an unbearable reflection for serving as a reminder of us not choosing to hold our light, stand for truth and live the love that we are in essence.

We often choose to not be aware when we express jealousy or feel the self-fury. Sometimes even when we are 'inspired' by another, we have a self-critical part that remains uncomfortable with the reflection that person or situation offers. And so energetically the force comes through us - sometimes under the pretense of being 'nice' in an attempt to not feel the desolation of our own choices. It is here that jealousy is the most poisonous. For what has been wielded, perhaps unwittingly, as a weapon to destroy another ultimately serves as our own undoing. By bullying another in an attempt to have them reject their light, we obliterate the connection we have to our own light. Jealousy in this sense, as so aptly described by Shakespeare, is 'like a green-eyed monster that doth mock the meat it feeds on'.

God's jealousy is always a product of his perfect, self-sufficient love (Exodus 3:14; Psalm 50:9–15; Isaiah 40:28), which provides the opportunity for him to feel deeply jealous about the people with which he has freely covenanted. Humans, in contrast, are jealous as a product of their finite love, which, having limited emotional and relational resources with which to be vulnerable, actually makes the risk of entering into a relationship a bargain with one's own selfhood. We feel that if we are betrayed (for example), and a relational jealousy is legitimate, then we will not only lose our love, but our selves.

Jealousy isn't quite like other emotions. Scripture's best answer seems to be "Just hold on. God is with you." He is not judging you for jealousy. "My name is Jealous," he says. He knows that you are unsafe and insecure. In the midst of jealousy, the one who is self-sufficiently Jealous for you "will never leave you nor forsake you," because he is fighting to "keep your life free."

Father, help me to follow Your love as a complete example of what love is. Love does behave unseemly, nor is it resentful or jealous. Help me to fill my life with Your love, not with things that corrupt.

Father, help me to resist selfish ambition, strife, conflict, rage and jealousy. Jealousy is a falsehood rooted in fear and powerlessness that is cultivated by the dark kingdom. Jealousy pretends that it will magically change the world, but it destroys it and everyone that holds jealousy close. Help me to be pure of heart and a disciple of my Savior and Messiah. Jealousy is rooted in selfishness. Help me to cling to You and avoid the heartache and deadly poison that jealousy brings. Give me a heart that brings peace and help me to seek it.

In Jesus' name,
Amen.

Be encouraged and stay strong; be blessed and be a blessing to others.
Peace, Love & Joy

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