Jealousy arises easily in our hearts.
In the parable of the prodigal son, the elder son is jealous that his younger brother gets such a royal welcome even though he and his loose women swallowed up his father’s property (Luke 15:30). And in the parable of the labourers in the vineyard, the workers who worked the whole day are jealous that those who came at the eleventh hour receive the same pay as they did (see Matthew 20:1-16). But the Father says to the older son: “You are with me always and all I have is yours” (Luke 15:31). And the landowner says: “Why should you be envious because I am generous?” (Matthew 20:15).
When we truly enjoy God’s unlimited generosity, we will be grateful for what our brothers and sisters receive. Jealousy will simply have no place in our hearts.
These words belong to Henri Nouwen.
How easy it is for us to allow our hearts to be turned to cynicism and negativity when jealousy arises. This meditation from Henri Nouwen reminds us that God’s generosity is indeed unlimited and we have no need to be worried about another’s wealth, position, possessions. What someone else receives is of no consequence to us when we are able to embrace God’s unlimited generosity.
Do you struggle with jealously — ever?
How do Nouwen’s words strike you?