“When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.” Genesis 37:4 (speaking of Joseph) “The older brother became angry and refused to go in…’You never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.'”Luke 15:28-29
Joseph’s brothers are jealous because their father showed Joseph favor (such as giving him a special coat) and because of Joseph’s dreams implying that they would someday bow down to him. They let jealousy turn to hatred to the point that they are ready to kill him (most of them). All they could see was what they thought they did not have, not all they did have.
The older brother of the prodigal son was angry and jealous because his father threw a party for the younger son even though he had wasted his inheritance in wild living. All he could see was he did not get a party, he forgot his father had given him all he had. In both cases, jealousy blinded them to what they had and caused them to see only what they did not have.
I also struggle with jealousy!
Father, I confess that I am so often jealous when others receive praise or notice and I don’t. That is so foolish of me. I don’t stop to see all of the overwhelming blessings you have poured on me. I just look at some small favor (like a coat or a party) that I didn’t get. Pride and jealousy are so destructive! Please, Lord, keep them far from me. Help me repent of those things and be filled with your Holy Spirit. Help me to be humble like Jesus was. Help me to rejoice in the blessings others receive and not to compare them to myself. Please help me take my eyes off of myself and keep them focused on You!