King Saul was a man who had all the potential in the world to succeed and every reason to be secure and confident. Yet instead of his life being an inspiring example for us to follow, it is a sad illustration of insecurity and its ensuing jealousy.
When God chose him as king over Israel, Saul’s response to Samuel, God’s prophet, was this:
“But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?”
– 1 Samuel 9:21
You can just hear his low self-worth through his words. It is as if he were holding on to the smallness that he saw in himself, almost like he didn’t want to let it go. But it gets better! Later, when the time came for Samuel to present Saul to Israel as their king, they couldn’t find him. And guess where he was: hiding in the luggage!
Like many people, Saul was insecure. “But I’m nobody.” Have you ever said or thought that about yourself? Have you ever been faced with the opportunity to speak publicly, or lead a team, or take on an important project and thought, “Why me?” Then suddenly once you’re on the brink of that opportunity you’ve been waiting for, you realize, “Maybe I would rather hide behind the comfort of obscurity.” It is easier to hide behind smallness than to take on the risk and vulnerability of a great opportunity. However, it is your chance to address the fear that nests your insecurity! Like Saul, we all come to different points in our lives where we are faced with this decision: “Will I choose to hold on to insecurity, or will I face my fear and conquer it?” These moments are chances to defeat what tries to bind us. Every time we give in to insecurity, it becomes more powerful in our lives. Every time we ignore it, and boldly face our fears, it dies a little more.
Saul’s insecurity didn’t stop there. It never does, but when allowed, it always produces more damaging fruit in one’s life. Sure enough, it developed into jealousy- incredible jealousy of David.
David was the man Saul should have been. If only Saul had put his confidence in God and in the fact that God was with him, maybe that faith would have led him down a different path. Instead, his insecurity led him down a path of depravation. He jealously hated David, and even tried to kill him multiple times. Eventually, he committed suicide. It is such a sad story, the life of Saul. He was a man who had it all, but like Anakin Skywalker, he fell to the dark side. Beginning with something as small as insecurity, and the result was absolute tragedy.
Love – the Enemy of Jealousy
Perhaps jealousy is something that you deal with. Are there certain people in your life that are coming to mind right now that you know you are jealous of? Recognize that the root of that jealousy is simply your own insecurity.
When we start to feel jealous of someone, the best form of combat is to pray for them. Pray for the very best for their life. Then, their success will be your success. But the root of jealousy goes deeper than just that person. It is an issue of the heart that has to go. Refuse to give the devil a foothold. When that feeling of jealousy creeps up, refuse it, and instead pray for the one you are tempted to be envious of and then move on. Bring your mind into submission by thanking God for what He has given you. Right then and there, get your eyes back on what you do have and on the blessings in your own life. Don’t let jealousy rob you of your purpose and your freedom. Instead, remember God’s most important command for your life:
… ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ – Luke 10:27
Love covers a multitude of sins; it certainly cancels out jealousy. This is your purpose: to love your God with all that you are and all that you have, and to actively love others. This lifestyle choice will bring you freedom, joy and peace.