The Struggle With Jealousy

Comparing ourselves with others leads to destructive thought patterns.

1 Samuel 18:5-16

We all have desires and hopes for life. But our plans aren’t always God’s will, and the things we see others experiencing may not be what He has in store for us. We must be careful not to compare ourselves with anyone else because that leads to envy and jealousy.

In appointing Saul as Israel’s first king, the Lord gave him power and authority over the nation. However, when Saul heard women attributing greater praise to David than to him, he became envious and suspicious. He began to fear that he’d lose the kingdom to David, and eventually his jealousy led to that very outcome. 

Perhaps this seems like an extreme example, yet there may be jealousy hiding in your own heart. Ask yourself if anyone’s material, physical, or relational success is stirring up anger, discontent, or anxiety within you. These emotions are often an indicator of a jealous mindset.  

There is a fallacy in this kind of thinking: We assume that getting what we want will make us happy. But contentment doesn’t come from having our own way. Rather, it comes from learning to accept whatever God gives us as His best. He alone sees beneath the surface and gives us what we need for our spiritual wellbeing. 

Bible References

And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.

And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick.

And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.

And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom?

And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.

10 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul’s hand.

11 And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice.

12 And Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, and was departed from Saul.

13 Therefore Saul removed him from him, and made him his captain over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people.

14 And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the Lord was with him.

15 Wherefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him.

16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them.

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