Today’s Scripture: I Samuel 18:6-11
6 When the victorious Israelite army was returning home after David had killed the Philistine, women from all the towns of Israel came out to meet King Saul. They sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals. 7 This was their song:
“Saul has killed his thousands,
and David his ten thousands!”
8 This made Saul very angry. “What’s this?” he said. “They credit David with ten thousands and me with only thousands. Next they’ll be making him their king!” 9 So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.
10 The very next day a tormenting spirit from God overwhelmed Saul, and he began to rave in his house like a madman. David was playing the harp, as he did each day. But Saul had a spear in his hand, 11 and he suddenly hurled it at David, intending to pin him to the wall. But David escaped him twice.
I once had someone tell me “Jealousy doesn’t look good on you.” Um, excuse me? I quickly added anger to my jealousy look. And now that I look back on it – both are not good on me.
Jealousy rarely looks good on anyone. And yet we constantly are comparing ourselves with others and measuring what they have against what we have. If we let jealously fester, it can turn quickly into toxic competition and seething anger. It can damage any hope of a relationship with the person we are jealous of. It leads us to breaking one of the 10 commandments (Thou shall not covet). And yes, it looks bad on us.
Saul begins to get jealous of David when the people start singing David’s praise and insinuating that he was a better fighter than Saul. The jealousy burned in him so much that he occasionally lashed out – even throwing a spear at David – twice! In the end, the jealousy of Saul leads David into exile in order to protect his own life. Jealousy can do a lot of damage.
And yet, jealousy can be hard for us to see in ourselves. We usually need a trusted friend to point it out to us. (And yet, we still might get mad at them!). The thing is – jealousy is real and can do a lot of damage to our relationships. It can hinder our connection to others and even draw our attention away from the things God has given to us. Take a moment today and do a jealousy check and then ask God to help you move on.
God forgive us for the times we put our trust in what other people have instead of what you have given us. Forgive us for holding on to jealousy. Forgive us for allowing it to turn into covetous feelings. Help us to identify jealousy in our lives and lead us to confession when we find it.