Mind Games | Family Voices | Jealousy
David’s oldest brother Eliab heard him talking with the soldiers… and said, “What are you doing here, anyway… You spoiled brat! You came here just to watch the fighting, didn’t you?” 1 Samuel 17:28
Imagine being Eliab. As the firstborn son, he was often responsible for the younger siblings. He got a double portion of work and responsibility, but one day it would be double inheritance. The younger brothers looked up to him, and he liked that. Things were good until the prophet Samuel showed up at their house to anoint the new king of Israel—and he passed right over Eliab. Samuel didn’t care that Eliab was the oldest, the tallest, and the best looking. He went out in the field and dumped his oil all over the baby of the family, David. Eliab could hardly believe his eyes—and that’s when things went south for him.
Family conflict usually starts with something like that. One sister got the boyfriend the other wanted. One brother was the football star while the other could barely tie his shoes. The baby of the family was so adorable that everyone grabbed their cameras when she was around and walked right past the older kids. They may be little things, but when siblings don’t handle it right, jealousy can take over. Eliab didn’t handle it right, so when David arrived to check on his brothers, Eliab’s jealousy made him suspicious of everything David did. Instead of rejoicing in his brother’s success, Eliab questioned his motives. Jealousy can’t lift up, it must tear down and that tearing down can even cause us to doubt God’s calling on our lives.
Final Thought: Is there jealousy in your family? How might God use you to lift people up instead of tearing them down?
Prayer: Father, you know how jealousy has poisoned relationships in my life. Some of it was my own jealousy and some of it came from other people. May I become so confident in how you are working in my life that jealousy can’t change me. Amen.