Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons… (Acts 10:34)
We take part of this verse on its own and declare it in our favor to mean, “God, you did it for them. Now do it for me. You’re able.” What happens though, when He answers with what is for us and it does not match what we think we deserve (aka our request). It is His will for us. He gave it to us. It is a gift from God, but instead of thanksgiving our perspective ushers us back to our intent for the verse above.
Here’s what Andy Stanley says about it.
Let’s face it; most of us believe on some level that if God had taken as good care of us as he has some people we know, our lives would be richer (p. 78).
This is jealousy. I know it’s hard to admit. It was hard for me to read in Stanley’s (2011) book Enemies of the Heart: Breaking Free from the Four Emotions That Control You. But, it is jealousy and it is our issue with God, not “the person who has what” we don’t (pp. 78-79). We believe God owes us…for our service, for our obedience, for our faithfulness, for doing what we should, etc.
Let’s let it register today, where it applies, that jealousy is our grudge against God (p. 79). The manifestation is in our interactions with others. How? It’s that “sweet” tinge of satisfaction “about watching someone you envy lose something you wish you had” (p. 80).
…how do you justify those incriminating feelings of satisfaction when someone you know (and even love) suffers a setback or loss of some kind? But before you know it, with no conscious effort on your part, there it is: that despicable feeling of satisfaction. And where did it come from? Straight from the heart. (p. 80)
Jealousy may betray “the true condition of our heart more than” (p. 80) anger, greed or guilt. It is likely the biggest betrayer because until we check it and deal with it, we will “be unable to follow the most basic of Christian tenets — love one another” (p. 81).
“As long as jealousy stays unchecked,
no relationship you have is safe. Not one” (p. 81).
Usually, this is our effort on the hamster’s wheel to cover up what we sincerely feel. We sing, serve, pray, preach, give, and reach out around the jealousy and envy. Well, we try. Royal Ones, we are not successful in these attempts. Remember, God desires us to tell the truth from the inside (Psalm 51:6). That’s why a Word life is crucial…because in our private appointments with God, His word will cut away our carnal efforts and show us our true motives (Hebrews 4:12).
If you haven’t made the investment already, consider making Andy Stanley’s book part of your devotional time. Read a few pages a day, then meditate and let the Word and Spirit search your heart.
Selah, and love to all.