A Prayer for June 2006
O Lord, deliver me from envy, from the bitterness of jealousy. I realize that jealousy is a common motive for murder and cruelty. Proverbs says, "Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood. But who can stand before jealousy?" (27:4)
Jealousy is at the root of other motives, influencing our thoughts and actions. As a Christian, with the power of the Holy Spirit, I can deal with obvious outward sin, but jealousy can still lurk in my heart and can rise up to lead me into the depths of sin.
Out of Jealousy, Cain murdered his own brother, Abel. Joseph’s brothers, out of jealousy, sold him into slavery. Saul, out of jealousy, tried to murder David.
We are shocked Lord at the ruthlessness we are capable of when this sin dominates.
We want honor and recognition, which is not sinful. Sin comes in when we are so vexed by the honor and recognition another person receives that we wish them harm.
Such a jealous rage strikes at the very heart of what we are. We are relational beings. We are what we are because of our relationships—our relationships with others, our relationships with our environment, our relationship with our parents and ancestors, our relationship with you, O Lord.
Jealousy arises because of a distortion of relationships. We refuse to value those in relationships with us. We regard other people as objects who only have value insofar as they contribute to us. Our ego determines their value. Thus, when they do something that gives them recognition, we are outraged. How dare they do anything! Why would anyone recognize them? Deliver us, O Lord from such selfish egotism. Help us to give credit where credit is due and to rejoice in the achievements of others, recognizing that they are just as important to God as I am.
Lord, help me to stop comparing myself to others. What they do is not a put-down of me, why should I be jealous?
The world lives by comparison and competition. The world teaches us to think in terms of our status, our possessions, our reputation. We live in a performance-oriented culture where we are taught to compete for power and prestige
Thus, we fall easily into jealousy. Forgive us Lord, and in your mercy and love, deliver us from this evil, egotistical sin. Amen.
We must look to you, heavenly Father, for mercy and forgiveness, and deliverance.
We must see jealousy for what it is. It is egotism, which wants to dominate others. Christ, on the contrary calls for us to love others. In this love, we do not surrender ourselves, we compete ourselves. Each of us is a unique creation of God, surrounded and in relationship with other unique creations of God. Our destiny is related to them, but our destiny is not their destiny. Hence, there is no need for any jealousy. We are secure in God’s love, thus we can rejoice in the success of others.
If you have questions or comments, email Tony Grant
Copyright 2000 York Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church
Last Modified: 08/28/07