Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Good Kind of Jealous

Maggie and Mamie, the Wonder Dog and her Wonder Apprentice, take great joy in chicken tail feathers. One day, Mamie found a terrific feather. She played with it, licked it, and carried it in her mouth for hours. When she sat, she covered the feather with her paws. Her main goal in carrying and covering it was to prevent Maggie from having it. 

She jealously guarded that feather.

Maggie, on the other hand, wanted it. It's rare for Mamie to find a good feather that Maggie missed, so I suspect this fine specimen had been snatched away. Maggie wanted it back. She was jealous of the feather in Mamie's possession.

This morning, I read about jealousy in James, chapter 4 and realized something for the first time. The people to whom James had written, Christians dispersed in the diaspora, weren't getting along too well. The problem, James said, was jealousy. One wanted something the other had. One wanted to do something the other didn't think right. 

Their seething cauldron of jealousy had created friction and sin, but it had also robbed them of answered prayers.

(Leanna paraphrase coming up) "You're so in love with the world that you're jealous for what's not yours, for things that don't matter at all. The friction is hurting you and destroying your witness. Let me tell you about God's jealousy. 

"He's jealous of the world that has ensnared you. He longs after you and pursues you with love. Why would you chase after junk when the King of Kings loves you so much?"

Why indeed.

As much as Maggie wanted her feather back, as much as Mamie wanted to keep the feather, the Holy Spirit longs to have us back from the world infinitely more. Why wouldn't we turn our hearts back to Him?

This day, let's consider the things that have ensnared our attention. What keeps us from embracing the pursuit of the Spirit? What prevents us from returning the love He so lavishly pours out? When we've identified that which keeps us from the One who loves us most, why not race headlong into His loving arms?

"...He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us..." James 4:5 nasb
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