the antidote to envy

You might just have noticed that the Olympic Games are taking place in Britain at the moment. (Technically they are the ‘London Games’ but events are taking place all over the country so I am widening the net to be inclusive.) Given how difficult it has been to get tickets for events, it is interesting to me how many of my friends have managed to get them. I know this because they keep posting photos on Facebook and Tweeting about how it is at the different events and venues.

It would be possible to feel quite jealous of these people. The steady flow of photos and comments could feel like salt was being rubbed into the wounds of our failure to get any tickets.

But actually I am thrilled when I see and read these things. The joy and excitement my friends are experiencing is quite infectious. I know that they are not boasting or thumbing their noses at those who have not got tickets. They want to share their excitement with their friends.

When we are not as privileged as others it is easy to allow jealousy and envy to lead to bitterness and resentment. I think the antidote is in the Bible: ‘rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep’. If we have an open-hearted attitude to others and seek to empathise and share their lives our lives are enriched by the lives others live. If we are happy because others are happy then there is less room for envy. Even the ‘weeping with those who weep’ is enriching as it helps us to stand with and alongside our friends who are in difficult circumstances and that is a real privilege. How do we do that? We seek to love people as Jesus loves them. Ask God to give you his live and grace in abundance.

Be blessed, be a blessing (and keep posting the photos of the Olympics if you are blessed to attend).

Some Olympic-related (vaguely) Tweets from Milton Jones (@themiltonjones):

In South London man in white track-suit didn’t appreciate me trying to put out his Cornetto which was on fire.

And so the Olympic Games begin. I’m particularly looking forward to the Mental Gymnastics.

Olympic show jumping: have just put bet on little door opening in back of Greek horse and soldiers coming out to steal medals.

They don’t like you playing Ludo in those Games Lanes do they?

‘Ye Shiwen denies doping.’ So Do Ping came second?

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