Time Out: Knowing when to act and when to let go (Miriam)

Topic / Time Out

Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)

Miriam was an excellent older sister! She was 8 years older than Aaron and 12 years older than Moses. She courageously risked herself to watch her brother when he was put in the basket in the bull-rushes, then flawlessly carried out her part of the plan by suggesting her own mother nurse the baby which Pharaoh’s daughter had found.

Yes, Miriam was quite the person. She was a natural leader. The women of Israel looked to her for leadership and followed her words and example. This is clearly seen in her guiding the women to sing and dance praising God for their deliverance through the Red Sea. She was a good leader, and pointed others to God. But when it was time to step aside from her position as the number one woman in Israel and let Moses’ new wife take that role, she balked. She criticized Moses publicly, and got Aaron to join her. Because of her jealous display God struck her with leprosy but Mosses prayed for and God healed her. This hit her hard and seemed to have taught her what she needed to realize: the Lord gives and the Lord takes, away – blessed be the name of the Lord!

Jealousy can be an insidious monster. We often don’t realize we are acting in jealousy until we are far into it. Then we still justify it and blame the other for it. It can be hard to let another take our place, to see someone else praised instead of us, to submit our will to a new leader or to humble ourselves to take second place. Watch for jealousy today. When do you find yourself most prone to jealousy? Why? What should you do about it instead? Remember to keep your eyes on Jesus, not others or yourself, and it’ll go much better for you.

Proverbs 27:4, “Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?”

Romans 13:13, “Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.”

2 Corinthians 12:20, “I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.”

Galatians 5:19-21, “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.”


  • Who are you most jealous of at this time in life?
  • What makes you jealous of others? If you don’t know your weak areas you won’t be able to defend them.
  • Do you know of anyone who is jealous of you? What would Jesus have you do about that?


Jerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 14 years, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!

Posted on December 7, 2008

New eBookGo
Focused Youth Ministry ebook

85% off!

Focused Youth Ministry

This practical "how to" ebook will walk you through a 30-step process to discovering God's vision for your unique ministry context. The process also shows you how to implement that vision and put metrics in place to evaluate what is moving the vision forward and what isn't.

Price: $12.95 Limited time: $1.99