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Reflection on Jealousy - Genesis 4. 1-8
Jealousy is a poison that kills everything it touches. When we look at scripture we see story after story of jealousy being a very destructuve emotion, from Cain and Abel to Joseph and his brothers to Sarah and Hagar. My first response is to say, keep away from this emotion, don't nurture it, don't nurse it, don't normalise it in your life. If we look at Jealousy we can see how it not only affects the giver and receiver; it can also affect their friends and family also. Jealousy has a way of infecting a whole community.
I want to suggest three responses to Jealousy:
1. Spend time in worship, in blessing God for all his goodness to you each day. CK who spoke at our Pentecost evening service said 'If I lived in NZ I would thank God for it 48 times everyday." If worship we also come to know and experience the love of God, it is important for us to encounter the love of God and allow the Holy Spirit to pout the love of God into our hearts. This is the great cure for jealousy.
2. Jesus commands us to love our enemies, and pray for those who persecute us. This is a very hard teaching at the centre of the gospel, but it is also a powerful response to jealousy, bless and be generous to those who are jealous of us. I think we assume that jealousy always needs to be opposed by force, sometimes kindness can melt hearts, not always, but sometimes.
3. Pray that God will give you insight into your brother or sister who is jealous of you; perhaps you will come to see them differently.
if you are in a mentoring pair, or a small group please discuss your experience of jealousy, and any experience you might have had of overcoming jealousy. Then encourage each other to identify someone you might be jealous of (you might be tempted to be jealous of) and pray for that person.
Author: Simon McLeay
Date Published: June 2019