As we approach the Christmas season, we prepare our hearts and minds for many gifts. Of course, the best of those gifts is Jesus, but we are also constantly surrounded by the commercialization of Christmas. How can we not help but get jealous when we see our neighbors outside with their newest “new toy.” Maybe it’s a new grill or even a new car with a big, shiny red bow on it.
Scripture tells us that God is a jealous God. In Exodus, God tells Moses, “for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God” (Exodus 20:5).
We are told two different things – That we should try to imitate God – not to be more Godly but to be truly human – made in the likeness and image of God. We are also told, though, it is bad to be jealous. So how do we reconcile these two?
We live in an individualistic society in which we are told to do everything on our own and that any gifts (either material or skills) we have should be used to give ourselves our own advantage. When looking at the world this way, it is no wonder that we are jealous of the gifts that God has given to other people. What if, however, we took our jealousy and turned it into awe. What if we looked at what someone else had and then instead turned back to God and thanked God for giving this person this gift, something that can help our whole community. When God is jealous, God is wanting us to turn back to Him and grow closer to Him. When we are jealous, we should be doing just that – turning to God and growing closer to Him. Jealousy should lead us to closer relationships – both with God and each other. Discovering gifts of other people should inspire collaboration. We were not created to be individualistic. Our God in Godself is a relationship – a Trinity of Three Persons. We too, are meant to be in relationship.