Today when I read Genesis 37, I expected the devotional to be about how God used a bad situation caused by Joseph's brothers for His glory. Did not see a devotional about jealousy and envy coming.
Wikipedia - Jealousy typically refers to the negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, and anxiety that occur when a person believes a valued relationship is being threatened by a rival. Jealousy often contains a mixture of emotions such as anger, sadness, and disgust. While jealousy and envy are similar, they differ in that jealousy is about something one has and is afraid of losing, while envy is about something one does not have and either wants to acquire it or prevent another from getting it.
Joseph made a mistake by boastfully telling his brothers his dream that portrayed superiority. Jacob made a mistake by showing Joseph favoritism over this other sons. The brothers plotted to kill Joseph, but Rueben and Judah rescued him.
How do you handle jealousy? James 4:2 says "You want things, but you do not have them. So you are ready to kill and are jealous of other people, but still you cannot get what you want." Now, I know that I would not kill out of jealousy, but do I gossip about or glare at the one who has what I want?
Wow. This has given me pause.
Max Lucado's suggested application is this:
Take an inventory of what you don't have that is causing you jealousy or envy. Then ask yourself if that item is really a necessity or a luxury. Next, take an inventory of what you do have. Ask God to give you a heart of thanksgiving that will lead to contentment.
I admit there are things that I do not have that I want and I see that others do have "it". And I am not always content with my situation.
Dear Lord, you know my heart and my desires. I thank for you what I do have and want to be content. Please give me a heart of thanksgiving that will lead to contentment.