The green-eyed monster - Hope 103.2

The green-eyed monster

By David ReayTuesday 16 May 2017LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read 1 Samuel 18:6-9

6 When the victorious Israelite army was returning home after David had killed the Philistine, women from all the towns of Israel came out to meet King Saul. They sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals. 7 This was their song:

“Saul has killed his thousands,

             and David his ten thousands!”

8 This made Saul very angry. “What’s this?” he said. “They credit David with ten thousands and me with only thousands. Next they’ll be making him their king!” 9 So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David. (NLT)

The legend has been told of a saintly old monk in an isolated monastery. Various junior devils had sought to disturb his holiness but without success. Finally, one of the senior devils had had enough of such futile temptations. He summonsed his juniors and told them he would do the job very swiftly. The evil spirit then whispered one sentence in the old monk’s ear and it was enough to send him into fits of rage and simmering discontent.

The one sentence was, “Your brother has been made Archbishop of Canterbury”. Those few words were enough to stir up envy, the green-eyed monster. Envy which disturbs our acceptance of our life, envy which begins to focus on what others have and what we don’t have.

Saul, in our narrative, once enjoyed companionship with David. What brought it undone was his perception that David was getting the accolades to which he as king was entitled. Rather than seeking to be a better king, he became a worse king because he was consumed with jealousy and hatred of a perceived rival. The friendship was poisoned by envy.

An old and rather cynical saying expresses the misery of envy: “Whenever anyone else succeeds, a little part of me dies.” Jealousy doesn’t allow us to enjoy another’s success and doesn’t even allow us to embrace our own achievements. The green-eyed monster is truly monstrous.

David Reay