Monday, April 16

When others succeed

Scripture: 1 Samuel 18, 1 Chronicles 6, Psalm 11, Matthew 3

1 Samuel 18:8-9 Saul was furious and resented this song.  “They credited tens of thousands to David,” he complained, “but they only credited me with thousands. What more can he have but the kingdom?”  9 So Saul watched David jealously from that day forward. 

Observation

Saul’s jealousy of David began with David’s first success, his victory over Goliath, when Israelite women sang in the streets of David’s exploits.  

That jealousy grew with each of David’s successes.  Saul sent David on military campaigns, hoping he would be killed; instead, David won great victories, making Saul even more jealous, fearful and angry.  

Saul even used his daughters as bait, hoping David would marry one of them and she could be a trap for him (v. 21).  The chapter ends with Saul foiled at every turn, and his jealousy hardening into outright enmity.  

“Saul realized that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal loved him, 29 and he became even more afraid of David. As a result, Saul was David’s enemy from then on.” 

Application

Does other’s success ever make me jealous?  Yes!  When I hear people “singing the praises” of someone else, do I get jealous?  Yes!  I wish I could say no, but the truth is that I still feel jealousy when others get praise that I desire.

What about that desire?  Everyone wants affirmation, recognition and praise.  That’s normal, that’s human.  But that need can become so strong that we resent it when someone else gets more than us.  We become jealous, and if that jealousy is not addressed, it can grow to enmity.  And that’s not normal; that’s wrong.  

So here’s my challenge.  When I feel jealous because someone else is getting credit or praise, I will:

1. Turn to God.  Remember that God’s affirmation is what I really need—and I already have it!  I am His son.

2. Repent of any jealousy.  It’s wrong.  

3. Thank God for the success of others.  Remember: in David’s case, it was because the Lord was with him!  I don’t ever want to be jealous of someone God is blessing!  

Prayer: Lord, forgive me for my selfish jealousy, and help me to rejoice with those who rejoice!  I want to celebrate others’ successes, not resent them!