I ducked my head and stepped into the cramped, dank room. Pausing to let my eyes adjust to the inky darkness, a hundred beady eyes glared my way.
Distrust and fear seemed to be a prerequisite for entry and I felt a still, small voice checking my motive. I took a deep breath and stepped onto the dingy floor.
I had come for one purpose and intended to exit as quickly as I had come.
Boldly, I brushed past grotesque figures as the smells of smoke and stench filled my lungs. Some held liquor, some held knives, some simply clinched their fists in hatred.
I spotted my friends in the corner and moved briskly toward them. They were coming with me out of this hellish place.
We locked eyes and they both smiled in relief. Dressed to the nines, I was pleased that they looked so fresh in spite of their musty surroundings. I motioned to the door and they quickly stood to follow.
The crowd seemed restless and I avoided eye contact as the three of us wove our way to the door. The incense in the air was oppressive and I held my breath the last several steps. I welcomed the crisp fall air as I escaped into the starry openness of the night.
I was so relieved to make our get-away, I hadn’t noticed that the door had not yet closed. Slithering out with their friends, the whole lot of evil had followed us to my car.
I had only come for Jealousy and Selfish Ambition. Now, it seemed I was taking home much, much more.
“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.” (James 3:16).
“Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Isn’t it strange how we think that we can pick and choose our sins?
We feel that we can stroke the cat of jealously and yet leave the other “more dangerous” animals sleeping in the corner.
James tells us that this just isn’t so.
Selfishness, in any form, is ugly, wicked, and evil.
When we crack the door for selfishness, we’ve unwittingly invited a multitude of other devilish qualities. Our stubborn friendship with jealousy and ambition secretly invites their family members of hatred, strife, and impurity into our lives.
Have you allowed envy to infiltrate your life?
If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then you have at least cracked the door to jealousy. And if this selfishness exists, your religion is just a covering for fleshliness.
“..those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:8).
Spend some time allowing the Father to convict in regard to envy today. Ask Him to create a new spirit of freshness in your relationships.
What did He speak to you about today?
My anger continues to get the best of me. I seem to erupt over the smallest thing lately. Can you help?
Nature teaches us that there is a spark for every flame. There is also a flint rock within you that ignites every impatience, every bitterness, every jealousy. If, right now, you hand Him the flint of attitude which begins every spark – He will transform the way you ignite your convictions. Instead of combusting into a destructive fire, He will build your zeal into a Holy passion for His glory.
You won’t understand the how. You just believe in the Who. Every time you are about to smolder, hand Him the flint. Do it daily, do it hourly, do it moment by moment. Invite your Holy Rememberer to remind you as often as needed and leave it at that. This is a process, not a once and done action. Be satisfied with its gradual movement. He is working not only gentleness within you, but also patience.
As this becomes habit, He will help you to “catch” yourself before the flame begins. Not enough for your pride to kick in, but enough for Him to be glorified. What a blessing to know that someone is being saved from a scorching from your tongue. Your purpose is not perfection, but submission.
Grace and peace, Your Mentor