God designed us to live and experience his joy in such a way that we can’t contain it. The only reason we question the promised “abundant life” is that we find it often elusive. There’s several reasons for that. A great threat to dynamic living is fear, but there’s an overlooked angle of fear. While fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, fear of man is the end of it. But the fear of man that most undermines our life is not the fear of personal loss at the hands of another, it’s the fear of someone else’s gain.
The fear that someone else may get a win or more acclaim than us, can cause us to do quite crazy things. At the core of Saul’s anger toward David was fear. Multiple times Saul is referred to as being afraid, all while he’s chucking spears at David and trying to “pin David to the wall”. What drove this anger? Here’s what did it: “But when Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David…Saul was more afraid of David”. It’s evident that the root system of Saul’s anger wasn’t justice, it was anger born out of envy. But this envy was Saul’s undoing. Fear of David’s success ultimately killed Saul.
So there are two sides to this coin and two ways to apply this truth. 1. We can’t afford to allow envy of another person’s success to breed fear and ultimately anger into our life. We have to trade out our fear of others successes for the fear of God and the joy of watching him work in our life as he chooses. We just can’t get tangled in the jungle-gym of envy. 2. Don’t let the envy, fear and anger of another person stop you. Never let someone’s fear of you winning, keep you from competing. Let me give it to you straight: Don’t let other’s fear OF you, strike fear IN you – it will kill you! Don’t try to win them, convince them, or even wait for them. You may be maligned, past events may be revised, but God and godly people will ultimately see the truth. Keep your head down and mouth shut. But don’t just do nothing. Make sure your heart is right with God and check it with godly counsel. Never forget: God designed us to live and experience joy. Be a receiver and giver of God’s grace and keep moving with your Savior.
I Sam. 18-19