“I felt jealous when my friend got Zorro,” says Hunter, 8. “I wanted it. I didn’t listen to him until he let me keep it for a week.”
When your friend runs around with a black mask and cape rescuing damsels in distress, it’s hard not to be jealous, especially when he leaves a big “Z” on the bellies of bad guys.
“Jealousy is a thing that makes people so mad that they want to hurt people,” says Josh, 9.
Jealousy is especially dangerous if you’ve borrowed the Zorro outfit for the week. Seriously, jealousy can drive us to violent acts. Under jealousy’s grip, we think and do crazy things. Let’s look at some jealousy symptoms.
“I was jealous about my brother because he was getting all the attention when he was born,” says Stephanie, 8.
Our desire to take the place of God as the center of the universe is part of the fall. You can see it in children. They demand attention from their parents, but even they must learn that Jesus is the center of creation. When children and adults learn to see life from a Christ-centered perspective, their egocentric universes begin to dissolve.
“And He [God the Father] put all things under His [God the Son] feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:22-23).
This world would change radically if most people were concerned about Jesus receiving the attention he deserves. If Jesus is the focus of our attention, we can’t be jealous of people. Jealousy can’t operate if our souls are filled with Christ’s presence. When jealousy knocks, it will find “No Vacancy” where Christ is filling the soul’s inner rooms.
“Jealousy drives people crazy sometimes because you may want something that you don’t have and can’t afford,” says Amy, 10.
Madison Avenue advertising agencies and their corporate clients are planning, testing and rolling out expensive ad campaigns to make you jealous. They want you to link your identity to the latest car, home appliance or gadget. You do want to be like all the cool people in the ads, don’t you? If being cool costs more than you can afford, don’t worry. Just charge it.
Jealousy has fueled many trips to bankruptcy courts. Don’t let advertisers control your life by making you jealous.
“I think jealousy drives some people crazy because they want things that other people have, and that’s what they think about all the time,” says Sarah, 10. “They spend their energy worrying about what they don’t have instead of being thankful for what the Lord has provided. God wants us to focus on eternal things and not things on Earth.”
During the summer of 1996, I attended the finals of the 100-meter dash at the Olympic Games in Atlanta. As the sprinters stretched and took their ready positions in the starting blocks, their minds were fixed on one thing – the finish line.
The Apostle Paul wrote: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2).
Think about this: Jealousy has no place in the grateful heart. Make a list of all the blessings for which you’re grateful, and watch jealousy fade.
Memorize this truth: Colossians 3:1-2 quoted above.
Ask this question: Are you jealous of anyone?
Kids Talk About God is designed for families to study the Bible together. Research shows that parents who study the Bible with their children give their character, faith and spiritual life a powerful boost. To receive Kids Talk About God three times a week in a free, email subscription, visit www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org/email.