Thursday, May 01, 2014


Damsel flies on the river

"Jealousy" - the emotion you feel when someone else gets the spotlight that you so badly wanted. 

I have felt this. It's a destructive, life-stealing feeling. Jealousy has no place in the Kingdom of God.

Instead, Honor one another above yourselves (Romans 12:10). There is a mutual honoring that pays no attention to hierarchical pecking orders or social status. Honor-shame hierarchies breed jealousy. 

Ben Witherington says a literal reading of this sentence would be: "Go first and lead the way in showing honor to one another.” (Witherington, Paul's Letter to the Romans: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary, 293) I see this less as a command or another rule to follow and more as the way a transformed mind will operate (Rom. 12:2). Someone with a transformed mind carries a spotlight and shines it on others. Such honoring brings delight to the honor-er.

Only a free person can do that. Only someone who has been saved from their own self can non-hypocritically ("sincerely" - Romans 12:7) rejoice in seeing others succeed where they have not.

We can't willpower our way out of the bondage of jealous spotlight-seeking, but God can transform our hearts, and in the process purge the jealousy out of us.