The drama of high school opposite sex relationships is real. It may not seem like it now, but place yourself back in that time in your life (even if that means walking back 20 years in time like myself). You dated someone, and you broke up with them or they broke up with you and before you realized it, you were in the "I've moved on and found someone better than you" game. So if you saw your ex-girl she was suddenly wearing the extra shiny lip gloss that she NEVER wore when she was dating you. Or maybe you were a girl who's guy all of the sudden was seen at the movies last night with the one girl in your class that you absolutely cannot stand and HOW DARE HE?
The jealousy trap is real. We've all done it to someone else at some point. And not just girlfriend/boyfriend relationships. Sometimes we work extra hard to make friends jealous (I got the newest Jordan’s, but SMH at y'all wearing last year's version). And you kids in high school now have all these extra-cool methods of making people jealous, i.e. my Instagram post got 40 more likes than theirs did. BOOM.
Jealousy is a monster. It can drive us crazy. But what does it do to God? Or maybe you forgot...that God gets...jealous?
It seems a tad absurd. The all-knowing Creator of the universe would get jealous over anything. But we're warned of trying to make God jealous in 1 Corinthians 10, when Paul reminds us to flee from idolatry, and drinking from both God's cup and the cup of demons. "Are we trying to arouse the Lord's jealousy?" (v. 22) God gets jealous. Now, to be fair, his jealousy looks quite a bit different from ours. He's worthy of all praise, and everything in the entire world belongs to Him. He made all living creatures, the planets, stars, mountains, beaches, Grand Canyons, exotic fish, hummingbirds, and majestic sunsets. That doesn't apply to you or me. We consider making it through the day and not forgetting to feed our kids a success.
God gets jealous of our idols. For a few random people, that might actually mean idols such as a gold calf or shrine to Elvis, something you actually worship. For most of us, our idols consist of our phones and the endless need to be socially connected to the world. Our idols are money, and the consuming worry of not having enough of it or the false pride in having more than we may ever need. Our idols are our own bodies, judging every square inch of skin to see if it's fat or muscle. Our idols are our families, worshiping at the altar of our children who consume all of our energy. Our idols are careers that we have stretched far and wide our time to create and polish our resumes and reputations. Basically, we have idols that are really good things that God has blessed us with, but we don't idolize God Himself.
See the disconnect?
This isn't a plea to bury your face in the Bible for 30 minutes a day so you won't feel guilty about leaving God from your hourly agenda. This is just a thought that maybe we've got so many things consuming our attention that we have shifted God into the back corners of our mind. God has become the junk drawer in the kitchen: something we pay little attention to but hey, we know it might have something valuable to us when we really need it.
What idols in your life need to be shuffled down in the priority list? What eats up so much of your time and energy that God gets your leftovers? Know that God isn't going to come down with a lightning bolt and take away things you place above Him. He wants your love for Him to guide you to placing Him first. He tells us multiple times in the Old Testament that He's a jealous God. I'm afraid we're a people unintentionally arousing God's jealousy. It's time to swipe left on some idols in our life and give God what's already rightfully His: our undivided love and attention.