Reading: Luke 1 v 39 - 45
We’ve all felt it and maybe you have it today.
Jealousy - ‘that sickening combination of possessiveness, suspicion, rage, and humiliation—can overtake your mind and threaten your very core.’
Jealous people find themselves doing things they’d never normally do. Jealous people will verbally tear down the one they believe threatens them. They will sometimes try to control those closest to them, steering them away from their ‘threat.’ Jealous people will find themselves being mentally carried away, playing out scenarios in their minds that are simply not true.
In our reading today we get invited to watch Elizabeth meet Mary. It’s the first time they’ve met since both becoming pregnant. Elizabeth is carrying her miracle and Mary is carrying hers. Elizabeth knows her son is going to be great because God has said so but she also knows the child within Mary will be greater still. Yet Elizabeth is not threatened. There’s no “my son’s better than your son” conversation. There’s no insecurity or no sickening bitterness within Elizabeth. In fact the opposite is true and helps us see how to overcome jealousy in our lives.
Firstly, Elizabeth knew what she carried within her was from God. She understood she had encountered the miraculous. The first step to overcoming our own jealousy is to understand all of us carry something of the miraculous within each of us. You may not be literally pregnant with a child, but you are pregnant with eternity and power through the Holy Spirit. You are called, you are loved and you have ‘a future and a hope,’ Jer 29 v 11.
Secondly, Elizabeth’s confidence in God allowed her to call out the greatness she saw in Mary. Being confident in the gifts we carry releases an ability in us to celebrate the gifts we see in others. If we can’t celebrate what God is doing in someone else’s life it usually means we are unhappy about what He is doing in ours. Not Elizabeth. She knows God is with her and as such she can celebrate with Mary. Do you know God is with you? Then feel free to celebrate the gifts He has given others, even if their gift seems greater than yours.
Thirdly and finally, Elizabeth encourages Mary to keep going and have faith! Read verse 45 again. Not only is Elizabeth secure enough to celebrate Mary’s gift, she actively encourages Mary to keep the faith to see all that God has promised come to pass. The cheerleader becomes faith bringer.
If you feel jealous today, remember that God has gifted you. Overcome your fears by celebrating the object of your emotion and try encouraging them in the faith. Your jealousy won’t be around for much longer.
‘Dear God, I confess my jealousy to you. Today, I thank you for what you have done in me and help me celebrate what you are doing in (put their name here). Help me encouraging and bless them today, in Jesus name, Amen.’