But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. - James 3:14
If we’re being truly honest with ourselves, it’s hard for most of us to admit we need help. Many of us like to act as if we’ve got it all under control - even when we don’t. We hesitate to ask for help because we don’t want to appear weak, and we resist instruction and direction because we don’t want to seem ignorant. We all want to appear more put together than we really are - that’s why so many fill their social media newsfeeds with pictures shouting to the world that they’re happy, while others feel the pangs of jealousy as they scroll past.
Why are these things true for so many of us? Sin. Our greatest and most hidden sin is self-reliance and jealousy of others. We want to trust in our own ways, we want to direct our path, we want to solve our own problems. We want to be God. We want others to look to us as self sufficient and wise, and we’re jealous of anyone who appears to have more than us - more money, more power, a more loving family, more friends, more vacations, more fun.
What we fail to recognize is that when we rely on our own strength, we are headed for disaster because we are violating the first and most important command - love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, and all your strength. We simply cannot love God with everything if we’re busy solving the problems that we encounter, or if we struggle with the fact that God has given something to someone else that we believe we deserve. We’ve got ourselves on the throne when we should have God there.
It’s a hard reality to accept, but we fail when we choose to live as if we are in control of our life. We were simply not created to live this way. The sin in our hearts that causes bitter jealousy and selfish ambition to win separates us from God. Sin causes us to deny our need for God and amplify our own need. Sin causes us to assign to ourselves the responsibility and the righteousness that is due God. It removes Him from the throne and places ourselves up there. Selfish ambition and jealousy are so deeply deceitful that we often don’t even recognize the sin, and until we humbly recognize the danger they cause in our lives, we will continue to suffer.
So thankful that the grace of God pursues is and attempts to rescue us from our own selfish ambition and jealousy over and over again.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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