Jealousy and the Zero-Sum Game
We tend to believe that God’s world is a pie chart. In other words, there is a limited amount of resources and if someone get’s 10% of them then there is only 90% left for the rest of us (HT to Douglas Wilson for this analogy and a lot of ideas in this post). This is not the case. Jesus tells us that the world works in another way. The world that Jesus describes is a world of sowing and reaping. Those who sow faithfully will reap 30, 60 and 100 fold of what they sowed.
When we look to the bottom of things we see that our world is pure gift. God’s Word spoke our world into existence and God’s Word incarnate, Jesus, is the greatest of all gifts. When we understand that this world is the product of a giving God we can begin to understand why stinginess and jealousy run so contrary to the nature of God.
God is not stingy, in fact, he showers his blessings on the just and the unjust alike (Matthew 5:45). This is why we are not to be stingy or covetous of others. The Christian understand of the world believes that giving is a creative act. When a man loves a woman she becomes more lovely. The giving of love creates love. Love does not exist in a zero-sum economy. Rather, when love is sown love is reaped 30, 60 and 100 fold.
We tend to be like the unfaithful servant in the parable of the three servants in Matthew 25:14-30. Our master has given us gifts to sow and invest. However, we are afraid that these resources that God has given us might run out so we go and bury them. But as we learn from the parable we are to image the giving of the Giving God. When God loves he does not end up with less love. Rather, when God loves more love is created and rebounded back to him. Likewise, we we sow and invest the resources that God has gifted to us faithfully we will find that there is not less but more; unot 30, 60 and 100 fold.
Food for thought.