Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”
It continues with quite a list … including a time to be born and a time to die, a time to scatter and a time to gather, a time to search and a time to give up. And then concludes in verse 11 by saying “He has made everything beautiful in His time.”
There is a time for everything. God has ordered the changes in the physical world and He also orders them in OUR world. There is a time for sleeping in and a time for sleepless nights. There is a time for travelling and a time for staying around home. There is a time to spend and a time to save (or scrape by). There are times of deep grief and times of great rejoicing. There are seasons of relative ease and times of seemingly perpetual struggle.
Jealousy can keep us from doing THIS season well. Instead of embracing the stage of life and the place God has us in right now we’re looking to what’s next and better, what’s more desirable or profitable or enjoyable. When we look with jealousy on another person’s season we are distracted from the value of our own.
Now is my season of singleness. Who knows how long this season will be? There are some unique privileges and opportunities that exist in this season and I so want to maximise those while they are here. I want to LOVE being single because that’s what I am! That’s not to say that I don’twant coupledom or shouldn’t be open to that – but that’s for “then” and this is NOW. I want to be fully present in this time of my life, wholly available, totally maximising who and what I am, leveraging that for God’s glory and His Kingdom purposes. And then – when or if I get ‘coupled’ – I want to be all THERE, not wishing for something else or ruing what I’d lost or comparing or envying. I want to smash out THAT season for all that God will use me and it for.
Jealousy tries to rob me of that. That is the true cost of jealousy.
Jealousy will keep you from doing this season well. If you’re investing your energy into being jealous of another person’s family life – you won’t be focused on being God’s person in YOUR family. If you’re looking to someone else’s ministry opportunities with jealousy – you won’t be maximising the ministry you DO have. When you’re jealous of another person’s friendships or relationship – that’s head and heart space you can’t give to the relationships you DO have.
Jealousy stops us from embracing and maximising the season we are in.
For reflection … how often do you find yourself longing for a different season than what you are in? How does that impact the degree to which you are present in this season? What might it look like to focus your energy on maximising your current season rather than letting jealousy steal your ability to do that best?