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March 28

James 3:16 (ESV)
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
 
James, the brother of Jesus and the leader of the council in Jerusalem is writing this letter to Jewish Christians who have been scattered all around after the death of the Apostle Stephen. James was an authoritative figure in Jerusalem and most likely knew the people very well and intimately. A good pastor and leader is to lead and instruct their people in all times – especially in rough times. Here, James is giving the people wisdom on how to live and act during times of persecution and difficulties. As we look more towards Easter, we have an even greater hope and example when we take time to look at the life of Jesus. Jesus gave us the two most important commandments which are to “Love God” and to “Love our Neighbors” and jealousy and selfishness make it impossible for us to follow either commandment.
 
In lieu of John 3:16, we can see that Jesus was not jealous or selfish, instead he was completely the opposite. When He died on a cross He not only followed the will of the Father, but He also showed how much love He had for us – therefore satisfying the word He spoke, but also leading by example for all of us!
 
Questions:
When was the last time you were jealous? What was it that made you jealous and what emotions did that raise?
 
When was the last time you were selfish? Who did you hurt when you were being selfish? How does being jealous and selfish break the two commandments of which Jesus spoke?
 
Activity:
Engage someone younger than you and explain to them a time you were either jealous or selfish and how that hurt your relationship with either God or someone else.