Sunday, June 13, 2010
The Green-eyed Monster
Recently in my 8-year old primary class, we have been talking about being covetous or jealous. It was a little hard to explain why jealousy is a sin. They kept asking if it was okay to want things that their friends have or the stores have, or what is on the tv and I found myself repeating the same thing over and over, "If we are jealous of what other people have then we are not being grateful for the things that we already have that God has given us."
A few years ago, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland gave a conference talk called, "The Other Prodigal" in which he examines why the brother that has always been faithful and blessed is suddenly jealous of his brother who has come home from filth and hardships that left him a broken man. I personally felt a slap to the face when Elder Holland gave this talk in 2002. That was the year that my brother and my father came back to the church and I had to hear about how wonderful they were and I was literally acting like "the other prodigal." It took a lot of repentance and a change in perspective, but now I look at their lives and instead of being jealous of the attention that they receive, I can rejoice in their happiness with them.
" Who is it that whispers so subtly in our ear that a gift given to another somehow diminishes the blessings we have received? Who makes us feel that if God is smiling on another, then He surely must somehow be frowning on us? You and I both know who does this—it is the father of all lies...Brothers and sisters, I testify that no one of us is less treasured or cherished of God than another. I testify that He loves each of us—insecurities, anxieties, self-image, and all. He doesn’t measure our talents or our looks; He doesn’t measure our professions or our possessions. He cheers on every runner, calling out that the race is against sin, not against each other."