Saul was very angry and resentful of the song, for he thought: “They give David ten thousands, but only thousands to me.” . . . From that day on, Saul kept a jealous eye on David. // 1 Samuel 18:8-9
“She’s just a saint,” he marveled. The moment the compliment slipped from his mouth, I stiffened. He was praising a friend for her heroic virtue—praise she rightly deserved—but it chaffed against the old wounds of insecurity inside me, and the familiar jealousy started to surface.
By God’s grace, I caught myself, apologized to Him internally, and whispered a prayer for help. I had learned the hard way—from far too many similar instances—that the lies whispered through jealousy would only poison me where God desired to heal; they’d only divide where God longed to unite.
I need this reminder often: that holiness is not a competition. We’re all meant to be on the same team together striving for Heaven. There’s more than enough of God’s love to go around—and there’s more than enough of God’s work to go around. He personally invites each of us into this work to bring His love to the billions of people who so desperately need it. Yet the moment we start to compare ourselves to others, our focus shifts from freely loving others to selfishly trying to serve and preserve ourselves.
The more we entertain jealousy, even subconsciously, the more we get caught up trying to build our own kingdoms here on earth. When we seek to gain for ourselves, especially at someone else’s expense, we build a kingdom of death and destruction rather than God’s Kingdom of new life and restoration. When we covet praise and glory, we not only forget others’ dignity, but we forget our own dignity as God’s desired, beloved daughter.
Affirming someone else’s goodness does not take away from our own. In fact, actively seeking to recognize another’s dignity allows us to become more like God and see them more clearly through God’s eyes.
Today, commit to building the Kingdom of life and love in one simple way. Look in the mirror and affirm your own dignity and goodness—then go find someone else and affirm theirs, too.
As you do, you’ll find the Lord’s endless love just waiting for you.Holiness is not a competition. // Megan Hjelmstad Click To Tweet