Archives for category: jealousy

2But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;

I had nearly lost my foothold.

3For I envied the arrogant

when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

Psalm 73:2-3

 

During this season, I have experienced some of life’s greatest disappointments and setbacks.  Most recently, I entered a business venture. As part of my due diligence, I implemented all the necessary safeguards to reduce, if not, eliminate my risks.  I read.  I researched.  I hired an attorney. I had a contract drafted.  However, life sometimes teaches us that there are no failsafe plans.  There are no world systems that could entirely mitigate moral corruption.  Although most, if not all, legal agreements are drafted based on the worse case scenarios, most people enter contacts with the assumption that the opposing party has some semblance of integrity, or at the very least, he or she has a fear of or a reverence for the law.  A year and a half after signing my contract agreement, the opposing party involved still managed to express flagrant disregard of the agreement by violating several terms of the contract. This morning, as I evaluated my situation, I thought about the above verse.

 

Oftentimes, it feels as though the lives of the wicked are bountiful.  Many of them cheat, lie and steal, yet they still manage to thrive beyond the imagination of the meek.  It’s easy to look at the proud and the arrogant and be envious.  They leap and abound.  Their lives are grand.  They enjoy fine things, and they seldom seem concerned with the toils of those who are pure at heart.  “They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong…they are not plagued by human ills,” (verse 4 and 5, NIV).  They play by their own rules.  They scoff at honor and valor.  The lives of the wicked seems grand, indeed.  However, there will come a time when the Earth’s grandeur will cease.  Each man will be equal, and God will judge each man according to his deeds.  “God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad,” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).  It’s so easy to want the wicked to pay—to take vengeance into our own hands because it might seem as though God is moving too slow.  However, Romans 12:19 says, “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD,” (NLT).

 

The truth is, waiting on God can seem slow, and, at times, feel torturous.  However, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance,” (2 Peter 3:9, NIV).  In His justice, God has given even the sinners time to change their wicked ways.  Psalms 73 goes on to say that God has placed the wicked on slippery ground.  The wicked will perish if they continue to do wickedness.

 

To those who are longsuffering, I ask that you give your suffering to God.  Leave your vindication in His mighty hands.  God is just, and He judges fairly.  Even King David, whom the Bible refers to as a man after God’s own heart, experienced God’s immense favor despite being reprimanded for his egregious sins. Although David had many shortcomings, God did not forget the promises He made to David.  During earlier times, God decreed that David would not only rule as king over all Israel, God also promised David that he (David) would always have a line to the throne (Jesus).  One of David’s biggest fall from grace was when he had an adulterous affair with Bathsheba, the wife of one of his soldiers named Uriah.  As a result of the affair, Bathsheba became pregnant.  In an effort to cover his tracks David tried to convince Uriah to sleep with his wife, Bathsheba, so that he could pass off the baby as Uriah’s.  Uriah, who was a committed soldier in David’s army, refused to lay with his wife because he did not want to break his allegiance to his fellow fighters by indulging in merriment during battle time.  After David realized that his attempt to cover his tracks had failed, he gave orders to have Uriah killed.  Fortunately, God did not allow David’s position as both king and the “apple of His eyes” to usurp Uriah’s life.  God was not only faithful to David, He was also faithful to Uriah, because the Bible says that God is not a respecter of man (Acts 10:34).  God avenged Uriah’s death by destroying the seed that was created from David’s and Bathsheba’s deception. Thankfully, God did not stay angry with David forever.  He pursued David and blessed him.  Moreover, David repented for sinning against God.

 

In all of our lives, there will be times when we feel forgotten about—by family, by friends, and even by God. Many of us feel like Uriah, a lone soldier in a vast army—a number in the crowd.  The temptation is to give up on God because we feel neglected or betrayed by Him.  However, just like God fought on behalf of Uriah, He will avenge us too.  The Bible says that God will leave the 99 sheep to find the one that has wondered away (Matthew 18:12-14).  It is during our weakest moments that God will seek us out and pursue us.

If you’ve followed my blog for some time, you’ve probably realized that I am a huge music fan. I love everything for classical music to soft rock. There are only a few genres of music to which my palate has not developed. Many of my thought are often accompanied by the soundtrack of songs in my head. Even the title of today’s blog made me think of the 1987 hit, Jealous Fellas, by Dimples Tee.

Earlier this morning, I came across an Instagram post stating that Christian rapper, Lecrae, was recently on Jimmy Fallon and that he was discussing the success of his new album, “Anomaly.” I was excited. Not only do I love Lecrae’s music, I am always proud to see Christians using their talent and their platform to advance the Kingdom of God. I hadn’t yet heard the album, so I decided to listen to the single, “Nuthin,” online. In a nutshell, the song highlighted what Lecrae believes to be a prevalent trend in the hip-hop culture—the inclination to romanticizes and glamorizes materialism and frivolity. I thought it was rather profound. As I was about to scroll to the next song, I caught a glimpse of one of the comments. It accused him of using illuminati and satanic symbols in the video. It’s also accused him of being a false Christians.

STOP IT!

John 8: 7 says, “…let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” I have no idea whether or not such symbols were implemented.  I don’t even know enough about illuminati, or the likes thereof, to render an opinion on the topic.  Moreover, that topic is beyond the scope of this discussion.

For some people, what I am about to say might come as a revelation. Here goes! We are ALL sinners!!!! Yes, every single one of us. It is not up to any of us to judge the depth of another person’s relationship with God. Remember Job. Both his family and his friends thought that his adversity was a result of his sins against God. They could not have been further from the truth. In fact, God favored Job, and after he stood the test of adversity, God rewarded him twofold. Here is my point. None of us knows what conversation(s) other people have with God. Maybe God has instructed someone to do something in a manner that is unconventional. To the naked eye it might seem preposterous. However, it might be their directive from the Lord. And even it if wasn’t, some things are just none of our business. Just as God allowed us to come into relationship with Him on our own terms. Sometimes, we have to allow others to come into relationship with God on their terms.  That is not to say that we cannot gently, and with love, correct our brothers and sisters.  When relating to each other, we have to constantly ensure that the pools of our memory are not shallow. It’s easy to forget where God has delivered us from, but, we have to. That’s what keeps us humble.

I have to say this. When you and I berate other people’s blessing and the use thereof, it comes across as jealousy. All too often, I have observed that the very same people who are critical of others have no problems enjoying the same blessings when it is bestowed upon them. As Christians, we must remember that the rain falls on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45), and every good and perfect thing is from God (James 1:17). The same God that blesses you is the same God that blesses the next person (unrighteous or righteous). My pastor once said this: “For most people, excess is usual one score above what they can afford.” If I can afford a Mercedes, then excess is having a Ferrari. That cannot be so. God blesses each of us in accordance to what He knows that we can handle. Unfortunately, not everyone is equipped to handle fame and fortune.  “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities,” (Luke 16:10).

One of the hardest things for us to do is to look in the mirror and “truly” assess the person staring back at us. Yet, in order for us to grow, it is something that we must do daily. If we are constantly finding fault with other people, we must ask ourselves: “What is wrong with me?”

“Most people hate in others what it is that they hate about themselves,” (Unknown). Know that if you are constantly finding fault with others, there is something wrong with your thinking. It is a reflection of how you feel about yourself. In order for you to love others, you have to first love yourself—truly love yourself—in private. You are God’s masterpiece, created anew in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:10). God loves you very much, but He also loves your brothers and sisters as well. Just as you want God to be tender and patient with you. Allow the same extension of grace to your fellow man. If you and I are to advance the Kingdom of God, there cannot be this constant squawking about who has done it right or who has done it best. We are all on a journey. Most of us are trying to do the best we can. All of us, at some point, WILL get it wrong. Give people a chance to err. Also give them a chance to recover. Sometimes, the best thing we can do as Christians is to extend grace.

N.B. I feel compelled to say this. For those people who have allowed the misdoings of Christians to be their excuse for not establishing a relationship with God, I caution you. Christians are imperfect people made alive by the extension of grace. Most Christians follow the Doctrine of Jesus Christ. Many of us attempt to get it right. None of us do. Only one person has every gotten it right all the time, and His name is Jesus. The reason that none of us will ever get it right all the time is because God wanted to make sure that none of us could ever boast that we are perfect. We are all flawed.

Please know that your relationship with Christ cannot hang on the hinges of imperfect people. The cost is too high. I encourage you to learn about God for yourself. If you are going to accept or reject him do so on your own accord, not someone else’s. In the body of Christ, fellowship is important, but it cannot usurp your personal relationship with Christ. Think about your personal relationships. I am sure there is at least one person (e.g. mother, father, sibling, spouse, grandparents, aunt or uncle) in your family that most people just do not get along with. However, you still love them. Why? Their relationship with you is independent of how others feel about them or interact with them. Shouldn’t you afford the same opportunity to God?