A passionate canine encounter
Belle the Boxer lathered our guest with love. She attempts to kiss those she likes. It's adorable and annoying. Max the Mastiff mix always tries to jump in, with an emphasis on jump. Max's participation and presence triggers Belle's jealousy. She worms herself in between Max and our guest(s). She gets swept up by jealousy and loses her natural joy.
This happened again today. Our guest, a dog lover, embraced the canine attention with gusto. I appreciate people who can handle Belle and Max, our assertive people lovers! Although I was glad about the positive response to the doting dogs by our guest, Belle's jealousy bothered me. It always does. Jealousy looks ugly and unattractive.
"Oh no! Does God feel that way too?"
I abhor her jealousy. Suddenly a painful realization intruded my thoughts. "Oh no! God feels that way about my jealousy!" Of course we know God commands us not to envy (Exodus 20:17). I believe there's a reason: It's ugly and destructive. It also hurts God who loves us and it hurts God's people whom he loves. Jealousy is not good.
To be honest, I still struggle with jealousy and envy at times. I don't like feeling this way. Most of the time I choose to celebrate and am genuinely happy for someone's blessings but sometimes a pesky thought still occurs, "But what about me?" God's probably sad when I feel jealous of someone else's success, happiness or blessing. When I have those negative thoughts I've often asked myself, "Why do I feel this way? Or why can't I just be happy for them?"
Enter Belle the Boxer. Seeing her jealousy helped me realize, in a new way, what jealousy looks like and how to combat it. In my opinion, her jealousy comes from a scarcity mentality. She lacked kindness and love in her previous life. Since we adopted her from Northwest Boxer Rescue, we've showered her with love and attention. Yet she still lives in this orphan or scarcity mentality. She always seems to fear she'll be left out or miss out. I always tell her, "There's enough love for everyone."
There's enough love for everyone!
Exactly. This is God's word to me. He has enough love for everyone. How do we know? He sent His Son to die for our sins. He so loved the world that He gave…He gave himself (John 3:16). The Triune God is more than enough. His loves conquers all—it never fails. God showers His people with good gifts. Jesus is God's best gift to us all. And we're mere days from celebrating Jesus' birth. It's time for genuine generosity.
One of my gifts to Jesus this Christmas is accepting his love and spirit of generosity. I surrender my jealousy. His love is enough…more than enough.