“If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” (1 Cor. 12:26 ESV)
Young or mature, we all have bouts with that ugly thing called jealousy. Every time we think we have it conquered, it creeps in once again. We pray, we read, we do all we can to protect our hearts and yet we find ourselves wishing we had this blessing or that blessing. I’m watching Jonah deal with the green-eyed monster these days.
He was excited about his field trip to a local theme park. He and his best buddy determined to ride the fiercest roller coasters and live to tell about them. It would certainly be the main discussion at the lunch table for an entire week. However, when I picked him up at school, after his epic field trip, he looked like he was about to cry. “It was the worst trip ever,” he said. He could not ride most of the rides because of his broken arm. My heart broke.
He shared his story and deflated expectations as we drove home. You see, there is one coaster he wanted to ride. He’s waited a full year to ride that thing. He went to the same theme park last year but was placed in a group with girls who were afraid to ride that coaster. So this year, he was determined and excited. He and his man friends were going to conquer this death defying coaster. Instead, he had to sit and watch as his friends rode the coaster, not once, but four times.
We talked about how he felt. We talked about his expectations of his friend. He agreed he didn’t want his friend to sit out because he did. He wanted him to have fun. It was just hard to watch. He wanted to be right there sharing the experience.
Even as adults, it’s sometimes difficult to be happy when our friends are blessed. This is something we have to work at but it can be done. Sadly, there are times I find it hard to be happy when God blesses others. And I’ve also been on the receiving end of sarcastic remarks when God has chosen to bless me. It’s human nature. When I’m feeling less than gracious, I try to remember we’re in this together. We should want the best for each other. We should rejoice when others rejoice just as we would mourn alongside them.
Jealousy is the green-eyed monster that has broken up many relationships. We have to be diligent to check our hearts because it’s much too easy to feel slighted because of another’s abundance.
Lord, help us look at all you give us with grateful hearts. Thank you for allowing us so many blessings. Give us love for others and hearts of honest congratulations when they are honored with your blessings. Amen!