Shades of Green and White
By Cheri Cowell –
Someone asked after knowing I’d seen the movie The Grinch, “Did they explain why he is green?” I had to admit they didn’t and I, a Dr. Seuss fan, didn’t know the answer. I have since come up with two possibilities. One, he lived at the dump and ate toxic waste. Two, and much more probable, is that he was green with envy. He was envious of the love and acceptance others had that he did not. That green monster has overcome me a few times, and I’m grateful my outward appearance doesn’t announce what is going on in my heart. Can you relate? The Christmas story has a place where that green tinge could have appeared, but it didn’t.
I’m sure Elizabeth, Zechariah’s wife, had to have felt a tinge of the green fever when she discovered it was her relative, Mary, who would enjoy the blessing of bearing the Christ child. Although some envy must have been there, the Bible tells us Elizabeth was filled with joy, “Blessed are you among women,” she said. “But why am I so favored that the mother of my Lord shall come to me…” I might have slipped in there “But why you and not me? You, after all, are young and have not suffered as I have. And I waited all these years…”
Have you, as I have, envied other people for their apparent blessings, wondering where yours were? Elizabeth teaches us an important lesson: The cure for envy is to openly express sincere joy in the other person’s blessing. Tell them how happy you are for them, how blessed you are to be able to share in their good news, and how thankful you are to God, who gives such wonderful gifts. When we do the right things, with a right heart (or even just a right intent if that is all we can muster with a green heart), God will give us the joy we need.
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord that I don’t actually turn green with envy. Thank You that I’m washed white as snow on the inside because of Your sacrifice. Help me follow Elizabeth in saying to those around me, “Blessed are You…and why am I so favored by God that I should be able to share in Your rejoicing!”
“At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1: 39-43 NIV)
Today’s devotion is by Cheri Cowell, who writes and speaks on topics of Christian discipleship. In addition to her books and articles, you can learn about her speaking ministry and sign up to receive her daily devotional at www.CheriCowell.com