“Do not make an idol for yourself in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. Do not bow in worship to them, and do not serve them, because I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, bringing the consequences of the fathers’ iniquity on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commands.”
Ugly or Holy?
When you think of jealousy, who or what comes to mind? Maybe it’s an envious significant other or someone who’s simply unhappy with their current lot in life. Or perhaps you’re envisioning a poor toddler stuck in their terrible twos, unable to regulate the intensity of their covetous emotion. In the context of humanity, the green-eyed monster is an ugly thing, something we’re continually learning to navigate through contentment and humility. But the jealous type doesn’t always have to be so ugly.
In fact…what if it’s actually a holy thing?
What’s Your Basis?
What makes jealousy so ugly among us is the basis upon which our resentment lies. We make ourselves the god of our situations: I deserved that promotion. Why is everything so easy for them and not me? This should’ve been mine and not theirs.
We fall prey to the notion that others are less than we are and thus deserving of less. But what if the attitude shift was less about belittling others in order to raise ourselves up…and instead was about giving glory where it’s actually due? This is the jealous type of God—the only One who’s genuinely worthy of to embody the basis of our praise. He makes a better God than we could ever try to craft from our indulgent egos.
Back to The Source
God alone is deserving of our worship. In fact, our most praiseworthy qualities are merely the reflections and extensions of His image within us (as His imago Dei). So instead of working so hard to exalt ourselves, what if we were to bring our praises back to Him as the only deserving source?
Our world is so full of distractions, chock-full of the idols we make of ourselves, of others, and of all our worldly ideals. So much demands our attention, yet only God is truly deserving of our praise. He alone is worthy; therefore, He alone has the righteous and holy right to a jealousy nature. Ours simply stems from sin. So, how can we align our hearts to this reality of how we were created to be: exalting Him and humbling all else?
Take a moment to consider what it means to make an idol of ourselves. In what ways are we most tempted to elevate what we think we deserve over the grace that we’ve been granted? Reflect on what it means for God alone to be deserving of worship and how our worth stems from the fact that He created us in the first place.