James 3:13-18 (NRSV)

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. 15 Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. 16 For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.

Proverbs 27:4 (NRSV)

4 Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who is able to stand before jealousy?

DEVOTION – Nancy Nelson Larson (Texas)

Has anyone ever been on the right side of jealousy?  If I’m  the jealous one, I envy someone else because I see something they have that I want.  But if I  am the focus of someone’s jealousy, I may be hurt by their personal discontent and insecurity.

While it’s easy for me to focus my anger toward someone who hurts me, God gently reminds me that I am the first one who needs to change.  As a result, I’ve learned that my security is not in myself, in others, or in possessions.  My security is in God who is my strength and my hope.  Jealousy, whether I am expressing it or am its object, undermines my personal security.

I realize now that jealousy has no right side.  And I’m learning to avoid it.  My confidence is in God, who replaces jealousy with security.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Today I will try to model attitudes that honor God and make the world more like God wants it to be.

PRAYER: Dear God, help us to find our security in you.  Teach us to avoid jealousy and to stand firm in your unfailing love.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: THOSE STRUGGLING WITH JEALOUSY.

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