There is nothing worse than envy to break up close ties.
There is a story found in Luke 15 where a younger brother went and asked his father to give him his inheritance. So the dad did, and gave him a good sum of inheritance money just as he requested. Let’s say this son/younger brother name is Steve. Before you could say, Savings Plan, Steve had spent all of it on parties, entertainment, gambling and harlots – contemporarily speaking. Steve’s money had vanished and of course his many friends did also.
When he searched for a place to work, the only place he found was a farm area feeding pigs. Scripture says, “no one gave him anything.” (V.16) Although he was in desperate need and wanting, no one gave him a plate of food, helped him find a job or lend a helping hand. Things became so bad for him, that the husks he was feeding the pig with, he found himself longing to eat! Until he remembered that even his father’s servants had food in abundance and place of comfort to live. Steve thought, “I should just join the servants’ staff at my father’s house, I blew being a son, a servant will do. At least I know I will be fed!!!!”
When this prodigal, wayward, squandering son returned to his father, his dad DID NOT condemn him for his choices, but hugged and kissed him and threw a big celebration in his honor. The bible says that they had “fattened calf” [sounds like fresh grilled streak to me]. (V.22) Just that morning, Dad didn’t know if his son was still alive. He didn’t know if his son was well; so now that he held him in his arms. A big party seem nothing less than suitable red for this young man that had returned. When the older brother heard of this big celebration for his prodigal brother. Rather he refused to attend the celebration. The young man older brother simply could not catch the fathers perspective of having found a lost son.
The brother’s perspective should have been, yesterday and for five years, I had no idea where my brother was. If he was alive or dead. I had no connection and friendship with him for all these years. We couldn’t speak to each other, do things together or go out for fun; but now I know my brother is alive and well and I can do things with my brother. We can now have a relationship. Instead, the older brother griped, I have been in this house many years and no one celebrated and held a party in my honor! These were brothers from the same family: they had the same parents, grew and live in the same house- One family, one organization, one church. Yet someone found a way to be envious and hold contempt for each other.
The family was designed by the creator for individuals to encourage, uphold each other, to share struggles and hardships together– to LOVE each other. Love your neighbor as yourself [the 2nd greatest commandment]. When one member of the family turns away from the others for whatever reason, it affects the entire family. Unity would no longer be present. But they were of the SAME family and there was no room for envy and things of the sort!!
Is there something holding you from freely, and willingly loving others in your life. Past hurts and disappointments, past griefs or personal shame. Remember to leave the past, the past and like the Apostle Paul, press towards the mark that is before!
And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. – Mark 3:25
Teach me to live as unto you, loving all those that you placed in my life. Forgive and cleanse me of any envy
and jealousy and may your love and grace exude from me to a lost and hurting world around me.
In Jesus’ name.