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Are you trying to keep up with the Joneses?

We continue with our previous sermon series ‘Faulty Heroes’. Preaching from Nathan Gordon.


Sermon Notes

Do you consider yourself a jealous person? I know that most of us would respond immediately and say, “Oh no, not me…I am not a jealous person at all.” Let’s see for a moment if you are a jealous person:

Are you bothered when someone else receives more attention than you? Do you rejoice in the successes of other people? Do you struggle with being second rather than being first?


Keeping up with the Joneses – What does this old idiom mean?

To always want to own the same expensive objects and do the same things like your friends or neighbours, because you are worried about seeming less important socially than they are. (Cambridge Dictionary)

The phrase originates with the comic strip Keeping Up with the Joneses, created by Arthur R. “Pop” Momand in 1913. The strip ran until 1940 in The New York World and various other newspapers. The strip depicts the social-climbing McGinnis family, who struggle to “keep up” with their neighbours, the Joneses of the title. The Joneses were unseen characters throughout the strip’s run, often spoken of but never shown. The idiom keeping up with the Joneses has remained popular long after the strip’s end.


Appreciating the achievements of neighbours, family members and friend’s is healthy; however, coveting and becoming jealous of other people’s accomplishments and material possessions is not only sinful according to the Bible, but such feelings can lead to spending above your means, trying to impress others and festering negative feelings towards others. Jealousy is a painful or resentful desire for another’s advantages. It means to envy or covet what someone else has.


This morning our faulty hero is King Saul, who became severely jealous of David due to his success defeating Goliath, and the subsequent adulation David received from the Israelites.

Jealousy can put you in an ugly mood – 1 Sam 18:10-11

Jealousy can lead to knee-jerk reactions – 1 Sam 18:10-11

An example to follow – 1 Sam 20:42


Comparison is the thief of joy!

we have to be careful with continually comparing our lives, accomplishments and material possessions with others.


“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

1 Timothy 6:6-10 NIV




  1. Read 1 Samuel 18:6-7. Put yourself in Saul’s place. How would you have felt during this celebration?
  2. Why does jealousy of another tend to make us fixated on what another person has or does?
  3. How did Saul’s jealousy manifest itself in his actions?
  4. How specifically might you remind yourself of the goodness of God in your life this week in order to build a heart of gratitude?
  5. What are the areas in your life in which you can easily become jealous? How can you guard against jealousy in those areas?




Sermon Details

Sermon Title: Can we rest on our laurels?
Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 18:1-12 & 20:42 [MSG]
Preacher: Nathan Gordon
Worship Leader: Richard Sills


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