Jealousy

Jealousy

Today’s Scripture Selection: First Samuel 18:8

“Saul was very angry, this refrain galled him.  ‘They have credited David with tens of thousands,’ he thought, ‘but me with only thousands.  What more can he get but the kingdom?’”

It’s known as the “green eyed monster.”  And it’s been around a long, long time.

While there are countless examples in the Scriptures of the problem of jealousy – the example of King Saul’s is a particularly good one.

Saul had, to put it mildly, “mixed feelings” about David – the shepherd boy who would one day replace him.

Read the story of their encounters – some friendly and many anything but that – and you will see green-eyed jealousy lurking in the shadows.

When all was said and done, things didn’t go well for Saul.

Ironically, when David later wrestled with his own demons – things didn’t go too well for him.  Thankfully, David was able to do something Saul never could.  He realized the error of his ways and asked God for another chance.  And he got one.

We may not think jealousy is much of a problem for us.  It’s easy to point at how others lust after the wrong things; the wrong people.  It’s tempting to think that only others want what they can’t or shouldn’t have.

But deep down, we know better, don’t we?

We all have a little green-eyed monster lurking around.  It seems to come with being human.  And we all must carefully and prayerfully keep watch, so it doesn’t get the upper hand.

What’s the solution?  Well, it’s not so simple that one quick fix makes us “jealousy proof” once and for all.  But I do have one suggestion: gratitude.

Find the blessings; the people; the relationships for which you can be; should be; and are grateful.  Remind yourself about them often.  Say thanks – to those people – and to God – on a regular basis.

And you may just find that there isn’t much for which to be jealous after all.

Prayer: Thank you God, for so many wonderful blessings – especially for the people in my life whom I can love.  AMEN.

 

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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