April 14, Sunday

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Comparison Hinders Love”

Genesis 26:12-16

Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him. 13 The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. 14 He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him. 15 So all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the time of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up, filling them with earth.16 Then Abimelek said to Isaac, “Move away from us; you have become too powerful for us.”

Once, when I was in elementary school, my mother bought me a very fancy mechanical pencil. When I took this pencil to school, I showed it off to everyone. However, in the afternoon, I discovered that my mechanical pencil was missing. I started to look for it everywhere until I found it broken in the garbage can. It took me a long time to learn that my classmate broke it. I couldn’t understand why he would do such a thing but later realized that he envied me.

In today’s passage, we see the same jealousy in the Philistines’ attitude towards Isaac. They first accepted Isaac’s arrival, but when Isaac became rich through God’s blessing, the Philistines began to envy him. Their jealousy did not only concern Isaac since these Philistines felt the same jealousy toward Isaac’s father Abraham when he resided in their land and enjoyed God’s favors. So they seized Isaac’s water and tried to force him out of the land.

In everyday life, we can often experience jealousy prompted by things such as: other people’s promotions and higher salaries, other people’s seemingly nicer families, and even spirituality of other believers.  One outcome of jealousy is depriving us of our love for each other; that is, it devours our ability to love others. How so? Jealousy makes us compare ourselves to others, and we cannot celebrate what others have achieved.

Often when we are jealous of others, we protect ourselves by belittling them, hindering their achievements, or surpassing them. God hates jealousy because it prevents us from fulfilling the second greatest commandment: to love one another. We need to understand that everyone is unique and loved by God. We don’t need to be jealous of other people’s strengths, because God gives us His unique gift.

This morning, let’s spend some time praying, asking God to examine our hearts. Is there jealousy brewing in your heart? If so, take a moment to repent and invite the Lord to help you see people with His perspective.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I ask You to examine my heart. I know there are many people and things that I envy in my life. Jealousy deprives me of the ability to love others, and it keeps me from seeing Your grace in me. Lord, I repent before You, and ask You to remove the jealousy from my heart and give me the power of love.  In the name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen!

Bible Reading for Today: Romans 13

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