May 18: The Power of Jealousy

Read 1 Samuel 18:1-19:24

It seemed that everyone loved David . . . well, almost everyone. King Saul certainly did not!  Jealousy and fear seemed to dominate his thoughts and fuel his actions.

But Saul seemed to be in the minority. Jonathan, Saul’s son, considered David to be a best friend. Michal, Saul’s daughter, fell in love with David and even married him. As David experienced military success, the people of Israel seemed to give him the status of national hero.

When we allow the pendulum to swing back to Saul’s jealous fear, however, we discover a man looking for an opportunity to eliminate David. Repeatedly, Saul tried to pin David to a wall with a spear. Each time, David eluded the spear. Perhaps the king could use his son or his daughter to deliver David into a trap. But they were too wise. They saw right through his plans. Perhaps Saul could place David in the danger of battle and the Philistines would put the upstart to death. But, once again, even that did not work.

Jealousy certainly is a powerful force in life. If we allow it to run rampant and unchecked in our lives, it will move us towards poisonous thoughts and actions. It may be as invisible as a critical spirit that seeks to find fault in others without ever voicing it. Or it may be as blatant as words or actions that attack the other person.

Rather than allowing jealousy to dominate our thoughts, words, and actions, we must learn to “rejoice with those who rejoice” (Rom. 12:15). At any point in time, there will be those who enjoy greater success, receive more accolades, or have superior abilities. Rather than allowing those realities to push us towards envy, we need to be able to thank God for the unique contribution that the person can make while also being grateful for the unique people we are.

Someone has wisely said that “the most difficult instrument to play is second fiddle.” That’s true! But even second fiddle is important! Rosin up your bow and play it joyfully.

sbk

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