Competition and jealousy are two ugly pets (spiritually speaking) that we allow in our lives. Once in a while they will lash out at someone, then we try to reign them back in, only after the damage is done. If we would not feed our spiritual “pets” by not biting on the bait to respond to one another through words or acts of competition and jealousy, then these spiritual “pets” will starve, and no longer be active in our lives.
-Now, when I say competition, I am not talking sports. I am talking relationships. In my book (soon to be published), the lives to two women are laid out for us to examine. Leah and Rachel were not only sisters, but they were wives. (Weird? Yes! The intent of the husband, Jacob, was to marry only one, but was tricked into sleeping with the other, so therefore he was stuck with both. Check out the whole story for yourself in Genesis 29 and then it gets really interesting in Genesis 30.)
When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. The Lord then blessed Leah with fertility. She had a son and named him Reuben. She then said, “Surely my husband will love me now.” She had another son and named him Simeon. She had another son and named him Levi.
Leah said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” She had another son and named him Judah. Leah said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” Then she stopped having children.
Now Rachel saw that she was not getting pregnant so she became jealous of her sister. Rachel was desperate and told Jacob to “give her children or she’ll die!” Jacob replied by saying it’s out of his control, its in God’s hands.
Rachel then said, “Here is Bilhah, my maidservant. Sleep with her so that she can bear children for me and that through her I too can build a family.” Remember Abraham and Sarah? A path was taken, but it wasn’t the Lord’s path of blessing.
So what does Jacob do? Jacob slept with her. Bilhah had a son and Rachel named him Dan. Bilhah had another son and Rachel named him Naphtali. Declaring, “I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won.”
Doesn’t sound like these two sisters have any peace in their lives. Apparently it is a competition. Clearly competition has no place on the path of blessing for peace is one of the components of blessing.
Do you feel like you are competing with the “friends” and family around you? Or maybe it’s the opposite, and they are always trying to compete with you. I feel like shouting, “STOP IT WOMEN! STOP COMPETING WITH ONE ANOTHER AND STOP BEING SO JEALOUS OF EACHOTHER!” This is not a path of peace. Leah and Rachel were never supposed to be competing; this only led to more tension within the family. Do you ever find yourself in competition with other women or making jealous comments towards other women? Maybe you are on the other end, receiving the “lashing” from a woman who is competing with you or is jealous of you. I know I’ve been on both ends, and it’s time to just STOP.
So I challenge you to think of a way you can bless another woman today, even the woman that you are so jealous of and I want to hear about it. Tell me, in the comments section, how you blessed another woman today and starved those ugly pets.