When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy. They began to contradict what Paul was saying and heaped abuse on him. (Acts 13:45)
Jealousy is a powerful motivator, but it isn’t a positive one. More often than not, jealousy leads people to make foolish decisions because their hearts are twisted into believing that they deserve something that they don’t have. Their subsequent actions are almost always in the direction of righting the perceived wrong that they’re experiencing in the moment.
In the case of the Jews of Paul’s day, they were jealous that Paul and Barnabas were drawing larger crowds than they were able to draw. Rather than rationally considering what Paul and Barnabas had to say, they sought to discredit the men of God who were sharing about the hope of Christ. Their jealousy kept them from hearing what was true because they were committed to feeding their egos.
Acting out of jealousy will never help you achieve the results that you’re looking for. In fact, it will often push you further away from that which your heart desires. The antidote to jealousy is to celebrate what others have that you wish were your possession. In doing so, we begin to open our hearts up to the gifts that God desires to give so generously to us.
Father, keep me from having a jealous heart. When I am tempted to desire the things that others have, help me to realize that true contentedness comes through You. Fill the desires of my heart with You, and let me find joy in Your provision, whatever it may be.