In Matthew 20, Jesus describes a parable of a farmer who needs help in his field. He goes out and finds help throughout the day. He asks people in the morning to come work in his field for a day's wage, they agree. Then noon he asks others to work for a day's wage, and again towards the end of the day he asks, also promising a day's wage. They agree. At quitting time he pays each worker the promised Day's Wage. Of course, this isn't fair- the morning workers are outraged that they worked longer hours than others and still received the same pay.
In reading this, I have a tendency to really feel they are justified in their anger. It's not FAIR, and we like things to be fair. When I am teaching my children, I am always trying to keep everything equal, and sometimes that is just not possible. Jesus goes on to explain the farmer's argument. "Is it illegal for me to do what I want with my money?" or the next part that really gets me "Should you be jealous because I bless others?"
Jealousy rears its ugly head in my life more than I'd like to admit. Reading this took me off guard at first. I forget when I am feeling justified in my rights of fairness that God's gifts are for everyone, and who am I to judge His blessings? I feel the same way when teaching my children. He wants to bless us as well as teach us.
I am trying each time I feel myself leaning towards jealousy or even 'admiring' other's things....to instead turn to gratitude. Choosing to focus on what God has done, and is currently doing in my life. Focusing on what blessings He has given me. That is an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness, humbleness and joy. A much better way to live than full of jealousy and anger.