“And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’” Luke 15:31-32

After Rob’s first year in seminary, Rob and I took a year off to work for a church in Simpsonville, SC. After that year we loaded up our rental truck and headed back to seminary in St. Louis, MO.

After we had unloaded everything into our new apartment, our friends Greg and Courtney asked Rob for a huge favor. They had been given access to a warehouse full of brand new top of the line furniture (Restoration Hardware to be exact). All they needed was the use of our moving truck so that they could transport their new furniture from the warehouse to their apartment just a few doors down from ours.

Rob graciously drove them in the rental truck to the warehouse to let them pick out their new furniture. The person in charge said that they could have as much as they wanted. It was Christmas on steroids. They loaded up the entire rental truck with a new sleigh bed, leather couch, leather chairs, light fixtures, rugs etc. until they couldn’t fit anymore. Rob drove them back to their house and helped them unload.

They had been given everything for free and they honestly had an entire apartment filled with new furniture. We were in many ways excited and happy for them but we also were quite jealous. It was hard to help them fill up their house with beautiful furniture from Restoration Hardware and then go home empty handed. Rob had driven our truck and helped them unload—all for nothing but a heart full of jealousy.

To this day when I think about jealousy, I think about that furniture. We could have really used some new furniture. In our hearts we thought, if only we could have a few items for ourselves, then we’d be content. That’s one of the oldest lies ever told. By nature we always want more. Actually, we had everything we needed- their furniture was just newer and nicer.

Jealousy is something we all struggle with. No one is immune to it. Sometimes we are even jealous of our own family members like the older brother in the verses above. By nature, we want what we do not have in hopes that by getting it we will be satisfied and content.

Our jealous hearts are quick to show up especially when we see others getting what we do not have, even when it’s something we don’t need. By nature we are takers instead of givers. God is our Father and gives us everything we could need. He has given us Himself! In response to His extravagant love, He has called us to give our lives away for His glory and the good of others.

What are you jealous of? Why do you think you deserve it? Do you really deserve it?

Prayer: Father help us learn to be content with what we have. Help us not to be jealous of others. Help us learn to ask forgiveness when we are jealous. We cannot love others or you when we are jealous.

Further Reading: Luke 15:25-32

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