Jealousy and Drawing Near

Steven Laman

READ : James 3:13-18
James 4:1-12

Growing up with a brother who was not disabled often caused me to be jealous of him. At times I would be angry because I could not run and play with him and his friends. When he got his driver’s license, I was envious of his freedom to go places on his own. I was jealous of his special times with Dad, when they would shoot baskets or work on his car.

Jealousy between siblings is not new. Cain was jealous of Abel because God accepted his brother’s offering but not his (Gen. 4). Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him because their father gave Joseph a special robe, showing he was his favorite (Gen. 37). Both incidents resulted in terrible circumstances. Cain murdered Abel, and Joseph was sold into slavery. James wrote; “For wherever there is jealousy or selfish ambition, there will be disorder and every other kind of evil” (James 3:16 tlb).

As I have grown older, I have learned that feelings of jealousy lessen when I draw closer to God. Are you ever jealous of anybody, a sibling, a co-worker, or a friend? When we feel jealousy creep in, let’s take James’ advice to “Come near to God” (v. 8). If we do, then our jealousies will slowly melt away. God will come near to us and help us realize that we are loved as we are. There is no need to be jealous when we are loved by the Lord of the universe.

PRAYER

Thank You, Lord, that when we come to You, You come near to us. Help our jealousies to melt away. Amen.