6 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

Genesis 48
Luke 1:39-80
Job 14
1 Corinthians 2

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

“Then her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her his great mercy, and they rejoiced with her.”
Luke 1:58 (CSB)

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

According to the website, https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/, there are more than 7.7 billion people in the world right now. With that many people, it is remarkable that, with only one exception, the entire world is made up of other people. That exception is you!

So, with over 7.7 billion “others” in the world, it goes without saying that we need to work on our people skills if we are to make the most of this life. If we learn those skills, then our relationships can be the source of some of our greatest joys!

One of the problems that I see in contemporary society is what seems to be a spike in envy and jealousy. I suspect that you’ve noticed it, too.

Jealousy: I don’t want you to take what I’ve got.
Envy: I want what you’ve got.

Envy and jealousy are not new problems. We see prohibitions to those sins in the New Testament, written 2,000 years ago. We also see it illustrated in so many of the Old Testament stories that took place even longer ago.

Well, when we realize that the Bible is given to us by the Creator who knows how we operate best, we realize that if we submit to it’s instruction, we will be much more emotionally healthy. So, God warns us about what is sinful (harmful to us and rebellious toward Him).

Proverbs 14:30 (CSB): “A tranquil heart is life to the body, but jealousy is rottenness to the bones.”

James 3:16 (CSB): “For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there is disorder and every evil practice.”

Galatians 5:19–21 (CSB): “Now the works of the flesh are obvious: … jealousy … envy… I am warning you about these things – as I warned you before – that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Clearly, the Bible takes envy and jealousy seriously. But the Bible also illustrates for us the beauty of a relationship when envy and jealousy are absent.

Luke 1:58 (CSB): “Then her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her his great mercy, and they rejoiced with her.”

Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, was a recipient of God’s blessings. Rather than demonstrate envy, those around her rejoiced with her. They were happy that she was happy.

Do you want to enjoy relationships? Do you want to be someone that others want to befriend? Ultimately, do you want to get rid of the things in your life that God hates? Then work to “put to death the deeds of the body” (Romans 8:13) and conquer your propensity to envy and jealously. Replace it with a genuine love for others and a desire for their good.

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, the closer I get to You in my adventurous journey toward holiness, the more aware I am of sin in my life. In fact, the closer I get to You, the more I realize how serious even the “small” sins are. While I commit to doing my part in identifying and killing the sins of envy and jealousy in my heart, I am dependent upon You to help me. I can’t do anything without You but I can do anything with You. Thank You in advance for giving me victory over these sins. Amen.

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Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash