Monday, January 19, 2009

Goodnight Green Monster

Genesis 30-37 continues the saga of Jacob's complicated life, including his wives' rivalry, his leaving Uncle Laban's household, his fathering of sons and a daughter, and his sons' jealousy of Rachel's first son, Joseph.

You've probably heard the story of young Joseph, favored by his father so much that he gave him a special coat resulting in bitter envy among his brothers.

The Merriam Webster definition of envy is: painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another, joined with a desire to possess the same advantage. Its definition of jealous is: hostile toward a rival or one believed to enjoy an advantage.

Rachel was enviously jealous of Leah because she had sons, but Rachel was barren. Eventually, Rachel had a son, Joseph, whose brothers were enviously jealous of him because of his father's obvious favoritism.

In each case, envious jealousy resulted in undesirable outcomes. Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers and Rachel died giving birth to her second son.

As you have probably already discovered, there is always going to be someone who seems to have better or more favorable circumstances than you. But you can choose your response. And for your sake it should be genuinely and sincerely congratulatory. James 3:16 reminds us of this: ...wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.

I've seen the consequences of envy and admit that I've had to fight that foe a time or two. But I've discovered it has a remedy. Thankfulness. Recognition of my own blessedness makes the temptation to envy much more easily resisted. Today, remember all the ways that you are blessed--and put the green monster to bed.

No comments:

Post a Comment