Our church family recently concluded its spring study on the book of Galatians. Simply put this book is GREAT. The discussion during the small groups and Pastor Aaron’s beginning and wrap-up sessions were very helpful and though provoking. The last chapter of Galatians instructed us with these words…
“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” (Galatians 6: 3 – 5, The Message)
These words go hand in hand with instruction from our brother James…
“But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” (James 3: 14 – 16)
While jealousy/envy is not a new concept, in our culture it runs rampant thanks to something as toxic as it can be a blessing: SOCIAL MEDIA.
Although I do not participate in various forms of social media I am thinking about joining. After all I have the cutest dog (Barnabas) of anyone in the Church and his photos need to be seen by all – especially those who have less attractive pups (such as Jan Myers and Karin Boling).
Seriously – one of Americas leading commentators writes…
“Study after study shows that our jealousy/envy spikes with our use of social sharing sites. People you know take more luxurious vacations than you do, their relationships are closer and more loving, their children better behaved and cuter – and the evidence is right there on the web.”
The Big Point: The more we compare ourselves to others – via social media or otherwise – the more we distance ourselves from God’s truths.
God alerts us through James that envy and selfish ambition are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. In other words, the more we focus on ourselves and personal gain, the more we give in to the lies from darkness. The darkness doesn’t want us to focus on Jesus’ love and promises to us.
Sisters and brothers in Christ, as we share life together we must not coddle envy/jealousy – we must condemn it. Remember, some other great words from God through Paul:
“…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need (or) to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation …I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”