A player on a baseball team just hits a two-run homer. Upon rounding the bases, the player runs to the dugout, and is greeted by enthuasiastic teammates.
"Sweet slam bro."
The compliments flow easy and there is a glad mood in the dugout. The team is now up by 2 and it's the end of the 8th. It looks like another win.
Over in the corner - away from the excitement - sits a teammate with his arms folded, head shaking. He looks disgusted.
"That guy gets all the breaks. He's so lucky," he mutters to himself.
In Luke, chapter 15, Jesus tells the story of a prodigal son returning home. The prodigal son's brother learns of the grand homecoming and soon becomes angry.
"Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends," he laments to his father.
Jealousy is a black cover to our seeing Christ and having freedom. Those who follow Christ need to rid themselves of any envy towards one another. In the body, we all have roles. Some will teach and be well-known, some will teach and be lesser-known; some will encourage and lift up, some will suffer severely for Christ; some will have great success, some will fail over and over.
In the end, we will all stand in glory, beholding our Triumphant Savior. At that moment, we will not be absorbed in covetousness. We - in turn - will await a crown of righteousness bestowed on all who have longed to see Him.
For those who believe on the name of Jesus, jealousy is an irony.
Lord, take this bitter heart and fill it with your sweet mercy. That I might have the heart to love and with fresh eyes, look beyond my covetousness, to the bigger story at hand. Our reward is not to be found here. Our rewards rest with you. Thank you.