23. Don't be jealous of another's God-given task

In the world we live in certain jobs and certain looks and certain abilities are honored and highly regarded. Whilst other tasks and jobs are looked down upon and considered of less value. That is how distorted our lives have become. But that has been that way since the beginning of time. As I have discussed, the Lord has a special place and a special task for each of us. Some might be considered more important and some might be considered less important in the eyes of the world. But to the Lord they are all equally important and if you do the best you can with what is required of you, you will be rewarded in heaven.

You all know the parable Jesus told of the man who gave five bags of gold to one servant, two bags of gold to another and one bag of gold to yet another. He went on a trip and told his servants to invest the gold while he was away. The servant with five bags of gold quickly doubled it, as well as the servant with the two bags of gold. However the servant with the one bag of gold hid it in the ground till the master returned and didn't do anything with it. When the master returned he praised both servants who doubled their bags of gold. Note here that he didn't expect the one with the two bags to suddenly also have ten bags like the servant who initially got five. No, he simply expected him to do his best with what he had. He praised both of them equally for doubling what he gave them. The only one he was unhappy with was the one that didn't do anything with what was given to him.  Now the same applies to us. The Lord wants us to be faithful with what we have and do what He requires of us. He doesn't want us to look at the others and feel that He expects the same from us. Or look at others and wish we could be doing what they are doing. No, all He wants is that we do something and not stagnate. I want to illustrate this further with two examples out of the Bible, one where someone got jealous of another's calling and one where he didn't.

The first example where they got jealous of someone else's calling was Miriam (Moses' sister) and Aaron (Moses' brother). While the Israelites were at Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron started criticizing Moses:

Numbers 12:2 "Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn't He spoken through us too?"

Now at that stage Miriam was a prophet and a composer. She sang and danced a song of deliverance, after the Lord saved them from the Egyptians. She was therefore not an ordinary person and Aaron was the first High Priest. They were therefore two important people and had important tasks to complete, but they were jealous of Moses and his special relationship with the Lord. They were jealous of his authority, they were jealous of his god-given task. And how did the Lord react to their jealousy? He called them and reprimanded them, He even struck Miriam with leprosy. Moses interceded for them and he managed to save their lives. The point is that the Lord doesn't take it very lightly. We should be happy with what He has given us to do. We shouldn't look at others and sneer at what the Lord has entrusted them to do. We are all equally important in Him sight and should do our best with what we have.

The second example is a beautiful example of someone that was not jealous of another's task but even assisted him in accomplishing it. And that was Jonathan. Jonathan was the son of the first king of Israel, namely Saul. He was therefore the rightful heir to the throne and was next in line to become king. But Saul sinned in the eyes of the Lord and the Lord rejected him and instead anointed David as king. Now as you probably know, Jonathan and David became best friends. They were very close and loved one another dearly. But it soon became clear to Jonathan that David has found favor with the Lord and that the Lord was using David in a mighty way. Saul became very jealous of David and tried to kill him on a number of occasions, but not Jonathan. He helped his friend whenever and wherever he could. He realized that David was going to be the next king and not he. Now think about it for a second. Here you are, destined to become king and lead a life of royalty. And now here comes another guy and the Lord decides that he would be king instead of you. How would you feel? I must admit I think I would have been a bit jealous, because David was going to live the life I was destined to live. He was going to be the famous king of Israel and not me. He was going to take my rightful place.

But Jonathan was not like that. He was a man who trusted in the Lord and knew that the Lord's ways was the best. He defended his friend till the end and never tried to undermine him or even speak evil of him. Jonathan was truly someone to look up to. Someone who was not jealous of another's calling even though he had the right to be, someone who followed the Lord his whole life. He is a true hero to me, someone who lived his calling fully. We therefore need to be more like him. Look at what the Lord is doing in your life, don't look at what He is doing in the lives of others. Your calling is most suitable to you. The Lord knows best, don't try to enforce another's calling on yourself. Instead, be like Jonathan and help others in their walk with the Lord.

Lord, help us to look at what You want us to do. Help us not to be jealous, but to follow Your calling for our lives. Amen

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