Jealousy, The Green Monster

“The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. ”  1 Corinthians 12:21-27

Jealousy is rightly entitled, “The Green Monster.”  It engulfs, devours, and destroys what it touches if left to its own. Jealousy is all about “me” and what I’m entitled to that I’m not getting.  Jealousy is ultimately about pride… I think I’m better and deserve what you have.

  • “You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?”  1 Corinthians 3:3

Miriam and Aaron, Moses’ sister and brother, struggled with an episode of jealousy in Numbers 12, that stirred the Lord’s anger.

  • “and [Miriam and Aaron] said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses?  Has He not spoken through us as well?”  And the Lord heard it.”  Numbers 12:2

Miriam and Aaron felt shorted.  They did not see their roles as important and wanted the role of Moses.  They felt they deserved better, questioning the Lord’s fairness and integrity, and thus became angry in their jealousy.  The Lord, of course, heard their cries and called the three of them to meet together to discuss the green-eyed monster that was between them all.

  • “[God] said [to Miriam and Aaron], “Listen to my words: “When there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” The anger of the Lord burned against them, and he left them.”  Numbers 12:6-9

Who are we to question the Lord’s plans?  He has called us each important in the ways that He has equipped us. Being jealous of another’s position, abilities, or opportunities only causes our pride to inflate in our hearts and decreases our ability to see the blessings in our lives.

  • “When the cloud lifted from above the tent, Miriam’s skin was leprous—it became as white as snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had a defiling skin disease, and he said to Moses, “Please, my lord, I ask you not to hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed. Do not let her be like a stillborn infant coming from its mother’s womb with its flesh half eaten away.” So Moses cried out to the Lord, “Please, God, heal her!” The Lord replied to Moses, “If her father had spit in her face, would she not have been in disgrace for seven days? Confine her outside the camp for seven days; after that she can be brought back.” So Miriam was confined outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on till she was brought back.”  Numbers 12:10-15

Father God, Please forgive us for the times when we have been jealous of what others have.  Help us to not focus on what we don’t have, but on what you have so generously blessed us with.  You are a good and fair God.  Increase our ability to be supportive of others in their gifting areas.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.