Christmas isn’t far away now! And if you have siblings or are a parent of siblings, you know what that can mean. It’s Christmas morning and everyone is opening up their gifts, and then someone opens up a really great present. Someone else gets jealous and is so focused on that person’s present that they don’t see their own gifts.
That happened to me when I was growing up. I was the youngest of three brothers, and we grew up on a farm. I don’t want to offend you if you’re a vegetarian or against hunting, but we had to go out and kill what we were going to eat, so we loved to hunt. One Christmas morning, my brothers received two incredible shotguns.
And then there was me—I opened up this little package of tighty whities! So while my brothers had both gotten shotguns, I was sitting there with my gift of underwear. Everyone was celebrating with my brothers, and there I was, whining and whining about how my brothers had gotten these awesome shotguns but I’d gotten Fruit of the Loom instead. Then my dad told me to go outside to see if my cousins who lived down the road were awake. So I walked outside with this package of underwear in my hands and stumbled over this amazing, brand-new Yamaha 80 motorcycle!
This happens all the time. A coworker is promoted, someone else receives a scholarship, a friend gets a raise. We feel like everyone else gets special treatment. But we miss what is right before our eyes just because we’re jealous of what somebody else has. Jealousy is a huge blessing blocker—it will destroy us if we let it. Instead of getting jealous, we should be celebrating with them. (And not that fake, runner-up-in-a-beauty-pageant celebration!)
Elizabeth, who was the mother of John the Baptist, could have easily been jealous of Mary, the mother of Jesus. She could’ve been bitter and wondered why God hadn’t chosen her to be the mother of the Lord. But instead, Elizabeth told Mary in Luke 1:42-45, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.” Elizabeth rejoiced with Mary and celebrated the blessing she had received.
Do you celebrate the gifting and blessing of God that He has deposited in someone else? Our purpose is to work together and change the world. If you believe in Jesus, the Spirit of God lives in you. He’s already given you something that you can use to make a difference for Him. If we can change our focus, we can see that God is giving us the opportunity to be a part of something greater than ourselves.