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<< A Wisdom Retreat with Stephen Davey

A Wisdom Retreat - November 20

  • 2017 Nov 20
  • COMMENTS

Jealousy . . . or Jesus?

Romans 13:13-14

Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

In one of his books, Dr. Lloyd John Ogilvie,  retired Chaplain of the U.S. Senate,  retells an ancient Greek legend of a major foot race between two competitive young athletes. As in all sports contests, there is a winner and a loser—and the loser of this one was devastated. He had trained long and hard, believing himself to be the superior of the two runners. His memory became haunted by the face of his opponent and the man's adoring fans.  

Moved by the victory, the city erected a statue in the winner's honor.  The losing athlete was consumed with envy, both physically and emotionally; he could think of nothing but his defeat and his opponent's new-found prestige. Ultimately, he reached the decision to destroy the statue that plagued him with the daily reminder of lost glory; a plan began to take form in his mind.

Late each night, when the city square was empty, the youth went to the statue and chiseled away at the base, hoping to weaken the foundation enough to make it eventually topple. While chipping at the sculpture with especially violent envy one night, he misjudged his efforts. The heavy statue teetered on its already fragile base, crashing to the ground.  The disgruntled athlete was crushed beneath the weight of the marble replica of his nemesis, literally destroyed by his own jealousy.

Obviously, the moral of this story lies in the fact that this man had been dying long before the statue fell on him. Inch by inch, blow by blow of the chisel, he had become the victim of his own dissatisfaction.

How many Christians have you known who were overcome with bitterness?  It chips away at a believer's life, destroying the spirit and corrupting the heart.

Hebrews 12:15 warns, "See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled."  The Scripture is clear—a Christian is to overcome his feelings of bitterness lest he become overtaken by them, for to be defiled is to be destroyed . . . and bitterness has the power to do both.

In addition, bitterness resulting from jealousy is the complete opposite of putting on Christ—as you would put on clothing, your attire should be "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control," as described in Galatians 5:21-23.

Since you can't wear both, which outfit will you choose to wear—jealousy . . . or Jesus? 

Prayer Point: Are you struggling with bitterness toward someone? Is your spirit being eroded by the slow chipping away of jealousy's chisel? Pray  that God will reveal to you any hidden malice in your heart toward others; ask Him to replace it with a spirit of gentleness and kindness.

Extra Refreshment: Read 1 Samuel 13:1-28—a story of jealousy and its consequences.


The Advent Event

December is one of the busiest months of the year. As Christians, we approach the Christmas season with the intention of focusing on the incarnation and making it a significant time. But it's so easy to get caught up in the busyness of the season—the parties, the decorations, the presents and the special events at church. Before we know it, the month of December has flown by, and we wonder where the time went.

One of the most significant things a family can do in December is to be intentional about finding time every day to think about the true meaning of Christmas. The Advent Event is an easy, fun and enriching family project to help focus attention on the birth of Jesus while discovering the big picture of God's plan throughout the entire Bible.

Each day in December, the family sets aside a few minutes together for this activity. There is a simple coloring craft, a story from God's Word and a motion to learn that helps children remember the timeline of Scripture. Most importantly, this resources provides a special family time that Moms and Dads can use to reconnect their families to the spiritual significance of Christmas; the birth of Jesus, our Savior.

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