Opening Prayer: “Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.”
Daily Scripture Reading:
- Genesis 37:19-20
- Galatians 6:4-5
- I Thessalonians 4:11
- James 1:15
- James 3:16
It has been said that comparison is the thief of joy but I think it might be the thief of everything. Comparison leads to jealously which leads to, as James 3:16 says, every evil practice. No one would fault Joseph’s brothers for feeling envious of their father’s unequaled love and favor for Joseph. But they fed that green eyed monster like a pet until it was full-grown, and like we read in James 1:15, when sin is full-grown it gives birth to death.
Joseph’s brothers should have been about their own work, tending to their father’s sheep. But as Joseph approached, they took their eyes off of what was their’s to do, and focused on what was not. Instead of looking at what they had- an abundance of blessings and inheritance to watch over- they looked at what they didn’t have- the favor of Joseph’s robe and the hope of Joseph’s dreams. You can almost hear the hatred in their voices and see their eyes turn green as they say, “Here comes the dreamer.”
We live in a crazy cultural moment. At the touch of our finger, we can peer into limitless lives. We can see everyone else’s homes, families, vacations, meals, successes, and colorful coats. We might not say, “here comes the dreamer,” but have you ever caught yourself thinking, “must be nice?” Because what we see usually is nice. Most of the time social media is merely a highlight reel. Most of the time we are looking at someone else’s finish lines from our meager beginnings or messy middles. Most of the time we only see one page in the story.
But we compare non the less. And we take our eyes off of the work we have to do. We loose sight of the dreams, purposes, and plans God has given us through squinted, jealous, green eyes.
Please trust this, God is not holding out on you. If He has given a blessing or a dream to someone else, that means it wasn’t meant to be yours. If it doesn’t belong to you, it wasn’t supposed to. Someone else’s coat won’t fit and those colors don’t look good on you anyway! Don’t feed the monster. Walk away from the comparison. Be busy with the work, the life, the purposes your Father has given you and your won’t have time to hate His dreams in someone else.
Today’s Big Questions: Are there any areas of your life where you are dealing with jealously? Do you tend to be jealous of other’s possessions, positions, relationships, or spiritual lives? Are you aware of the ways you are feeding the Green Eyed Monster?
Prayer Response: Spend a few moments confessing to the Lord any areas of jealousy or envy in your heart. Ask Him to speak truth about the work He has for you and ask the Holy Spirit to heighten your awareness of your tendencies to compare.
Optional Action Step: Go through your social media accounts and unfollow any accounts that you know are a stumbling block to you in the area of comparison or jealousy. Consider taking a break from social media all together for the remainder of this devotional.
Closing Prayer: “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21