“For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.” – James 3:16 NLT
As I sit here reading my Bible, I am listening to a woman on the radio talk about meeting her birth mother for the first time, and finding out it was someone she had known through her church all of her life. She described it as being awkward, and feeling obligated to maintain communication even though she didn’t want to. Then she talked about how grateful she was that her birth mother had given her the best parents she could imagine having. It’s possible to be angry and grateful at the same time.
The birth mother did an amazing thing. As the birth mother of a child who was given up, I see this from the other side from the child. It is incredibly difficult, letting your child go, even when you know they are going to a couple who will be excellent parents, able to provide emotionally and financially for the child.
Watching from the sidelines, it would be easy to let jealousy and selfishness grow. It was something I dealt with. When I made the decision to let her go, I had to promise I would not come back in a year or 10 years and say “Okay, I have it together now, I want my child back.” While I was trying to survive the horrible decisions and situations I was in, I watched my child thrive and be happy. She had a mom and dad who loved God, each other, and her. After a couple of years, they had a baby and she became a sister. They presented a stable, well taken care of family picture.
Yes, I was jealous. They had, and were, everything I wanted for myself and wasn’t able to achieve. Just as James points out, the jealousy I felt was accompanied by much disorder and evil. My life was ugly…. why should they have what I wanted, when I couldn’t?
The answer lay in Jesus Christ.
“If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.” – James 3:13-18 NLT
While I was being earthly and unspiritual, and being attacked on a demonic level, the adoptive parents were putting God first and “reaping a harvest of righteousness.” If they had known how deeply in trouble I was, I know they would have done whatever possible to help me. Instead, I hid in the darkness of my life, lost in denial, until I almost died from the consequences of my sin. Oh, I repented for a time, but the lure of Satan is strong . Where God is a gentleman, the enemy is a liar, crafty, underhanded, cheating and lying to snag us. He wants us away from our Lord, and he wants us to seek revenge against God.
Remember that! God created us with free will. He knew, even while He was fashioning the clay in His hands, that there were many millions and billions of humans whom Satan would deceive into following him, rather than God. Why would He give us free will so that we could throw it back in His face? Why, indeed. The Creator wants us to CHOOSE Him on our own. He will not coerce or force us. When we make the conscious decision to follow Christ, and we look to heaven instead of ourselves for wisdom, He rewards us with peace. Glorious Peace!
“But the Wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.” – James 3:17 NLT
Words to live by.