Tag: jealousy

Are Preachers Ever Guilty Of Jealousy?

The biggest day of the year for church attendance has come and gone. Easter Sunday, the number one day of the year when pastors and church leaders around the globe attempt to woo the masses into visiting their church, and hopefully, become a regular member.

Although I’m no longer a pastor, haven’t been for over five years, I can still recall some of the feelings I’d have to deal with on Easter; and especially the day after.

Through the years I’ve had the privilege of pastoring two churches for a total of about eighteen years. Both churches were growing churches; one grew upward in attendance, the other, downward. Try as we might to reach out to our community, I’d many times feel embarrassed and cheated by a low Easter attendance.

So I ask the question: are preachers ever guilty of jealousy? 

Yes, they are. Is it good? No, but it happens. Has it happened to you? Is it happening to you?

Yesterday I looked at a number of Facebook posts from area churches, their pastors and members. I’ve divided them into two groups. One group told of the number of salvations, visitors, baptisms, etc. Very exciting to read. The other group posted a much more simple message; nice, but I’d hardly call it exciting. “Had a great Easter Service and breakfast”, pretty much defined the whole day.

I’m not putting anyone down for their Facebook post. Not at all. But as I read the first group’s gloriously glowing posts, I couldn’t help but think back to the days when Easter didn’t end up like I’d envisioned. For whatever reason, it wasn’t the “breakthrough service” I had prayed, planned, promoted, or preached for.

And before twenty four hours would pass, I would be filled with jealousy and resentment.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to burst your bubble.

Actually, a person doesn’t need to be a pastor, or even “in the ministry” to be guilty of jealousy. But just because a person is a spiritual leader doesn’t make them immune to those terribly sick feelings.

We need to recognize those feelings, call them what they are, and get rid of them. I know it’s hard to do, especially with the adversary whispering all the reasons why you deserve much more than you’re receiving. But something which might help you beat the jealousy demon back into its hole is to give thanks to God for the people you’re jealous of.

After all, shouldn’t each of us, regardless of the scope of our leadership influence, have just one primary focus? Aren’t you and I called to be faithful?

Faithful to our individual calling, not someone else’s.

I thought about adding a number of scriptures pertaining to jealousy and envy, but that’s really unnecessary, don’t you think? We all know it’s wrong to wish for something another person has, or maybe even worse, wish the other person or preacher wasn’t doing as well as they were. It only causes us to forget the things God has called us to do.

I remember the wonderful pity parties I used to throw for myself. I could sit for a couple hours “meditating” on how unfair ministry is; and instead of doing something creative, I’d end up wishing my life away.

I hope your Easter Sunday went well for you. I hope you were in the first group, the one with all the glorious pictures and comments. God’s good, all the time, and Jesus is still alive!

But if yesterday was kind of a drag, and all your effort seemed wasted, the Lord has a word for you, as well. He’d like you to remember He’s good, all the time, and Jesus is still alive.

Jesus is the One Who builds His church. Yes, we’re workers together with Him. Yes, it’s His desire to see everyone born again. Yes, yes, yes.

But He’s only requiring one thing from us. Faithfulness. Faithfulness to His call, direction, and everyday opportunities. Nothing more, nothing less.

So please don’t waste any part of your life giving in to feelings of jealousy. You’re part of something far greater than your own little world. You’re part of the glorious kingdom of God.

And God is just as much God in your neck of the woods, as He is in someone else’s. He’s STILL able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all you can ask or even think!

Destroying the Green-Eyed Monster

20130927-070428.jpgThere’s a green-eyed monster on the loose.

I’ve seen it! Maybe you have, too.

No, I’m not referring to the Steppenwolf song, “Monster”, or “Green Eyed Lady” by Sugarloaf. I’m not mixed up; though some may argue that point. I’m not even HALF insane.

And, I have not listened to Michael Savage for at least a year!

There IS a green-eyed monster; not the bridge troll in “Three Billy Goats Gruff”, or something you’d see in a class B movie.

At times it is hard to detect; like a chameleon, it blends in very well with its surroundings.

But it’s loose.

It could be male or female, young or old. It cares nothing about anything, except itself.

It has no political preference. Religion doesn’t seem to bother it, as it has been seen a number of times sprawled all over church pews.

It actually prefers the slogan seen on a lot of bumpers, “Coexist”.

But it’s not wise to try and coexist with something as deadly as a green-eyed monster!

And it makes a lousy pet.

The green-eyed monster I’m talking about is ENVY (its partner, its “significant other”, is known as Jealousy).


“Some people don’t know what it is to work hard. They have so much and don’t even have to work for it. I’ve never had much and have had to work hard all my life.” Such is the remark someone said to a friend of ours the other day; referring to some unnamed “lazies”.

It sounds as though the one who made the comment has green eyes. Green with envy and jealousy. Like they had been bitten by ol’ Green Eyes.

Ever heard of such a thing? Have you ever met a person who talks that way?

Have you? Do you?

What color are your eyes?

Are you envious of others? Are you irritated when others appear to have more than you?

Why?

Do you know EVERYTHING about the person you envy? Is it just barely possible you know little to nothing about the lazy bum you are jealous of?

Yes, some folks seem to “have it made”! They seem to have “the touch”. Everything they set out to do succeeds. But even those people work harder than most people realize, or want to admit.

I have this attitude, when I hear of someone succeeding: Great! Praise God! I hope God is the One blessing them, for “The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.” (Proverbs 10:22 NLT) Because if God is blessing them, I can believe God will do the same for me. God is no respecter of people. He doesn’t have favorites; ALL His kids are His favorites!

“Rich” doesn’t necessarily mean a lot of money; but it doesn’t mean a person WON’T have a lot, either. It DOES mean that the blessing of God enables a person to have more than enough for their needs, so they can bless others.

“But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-8 NKJV)

“And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God…” (2 Corinthians 3:4-5 NKJV)

Scripture teaches the blessing of God is upon the giver; the one who delights in giving. It is my experience, I’ve seen it numerous times, one cannot be envious or jealous of others and be a generous person at the same time. It just won’t work. Jealousy and envy act like chokeholds around the neck of generosity. They clinch their bony fingers around the person’s heart, refusing to allow anything out.


“No! You can’t, you won’t, give! I won’t let you give!”

Unfortunately, by allowing nothing to LEAVE, they allow nothing to ENTER.

And it is impossible to receive if everything is shut up tight.

Maybe it’s time to check up on your heart?

Instead of complaining about others having “so much”, how about learning God’s fundamental principle of generosity. Forget all about what YOU should have, and start asking God what you can do to BLESS OTHERS. Rejoice when others are blessed. Rejoice and complain not!

Here are a few scriptures that may help sort this thing out:

“There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty. The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.” (Proverbs 11:24-25 NKJV)

“Honor the LORD with your possessions, and with the first-fruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.” (Proverbs 3:9-10 NKJV)

“Be generous: Invest in acts of charity. Charity yields high returns. Don’t hoard your goods; spread them around. Be a blessing to others. This could be your last night.” (Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 MSG)

“Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19 NLT)

“Remember this – a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.” (2 Corinthians 9:6 NLT)

I’ll say it again – one cannot be envious or jealous of others and be a generous person at the same time. If you are worried about what others are getting, how easy they seem to have it, or how unfair God appears to be, you will continually sabotage any kind of blessing the Lord may be trying to send your way. And eventually you will become bitter towards God; your joy will turn into sorrow, your beauty into ashes, and strength into weakness.

So, the next time you hear of someone receiving a blessing, an honor, or anything good, REJOICE! GIVE smiles, GIVE heart felt compliments, GIVE congratulations, etc.

You will find the blessing of God running throughout your life!

And that old green-eyed monster will starve to death!

“GIVE, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. (Luke 6:38 ESV)

Call Before You Dig

20130704-110045.jpgWe used to have a dog named Joey. He was part Lab, part Brittany, and part Part. As a young pup, he loved digging holes in our backyard. It didn’t matter to him that he’d fall into the holes from time to time; he just loved to dig. Of course, it caused a bit of a problem for me when it was time to mow the lawn!

I started thinking about “digging”, after talking with someone awhile back. I felt a few “digs”, a few taps with the shovel, while we conversed.

I’m sure you’ve seen the signs, “Call before digging…it’s the law.” It’s also for our safety!

Have you ever known someone who likes to “dig” at others while conversing with them? A Mister or Miss Sarcasm; always ready with a sharp tongue, quick insult (subtle, of course), and negative word?

Why do people feel a need to act that way? Are they that unsure or unhappy with their own lot in life? Do they get any benefit out of tearing someone else apart? Digging little holes, or big ones, in someone’s character, experience, or blessings surely can’t be that gratifying, can it?

I think it would be much more gratifying to be a hole “filler” instead of a digger. To be someone who looks for and finds ways to encourage others. Someone who “covers” the faults or mistakes of others. Besides, filling holes is a lot safer than digging them.

Imagine what could happen to a relationship if, while digging, a nerve is struck? As when a gas pipe is busted and an explosion occurs, the damage to the busted relationship could become irreparable.

“Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, “and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.” (Proverbs 26:27 ESV)

“See that man shoveling day after day, digging, then concealing, his man-trap down that lonely stretch of road? Go back and look again – you’ll see him in it headfirst, legs waving in the breeze. That’s what happens: mischief backfires; violence boomerangs.” (Psalm 7:15 MSG)

Jealousy, sarcasm, and digs of any sort are not becoming to a child of God. Destructive attitudes and actions do not belong in the Body of Christ. Actually, no one needs that sort of trash!

“Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless – that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, here’s what you do: say nothing evil or hurtful; snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you’re worth. God looks on all this with approval, listening and responding well to what he’s asked; but he turns his back on those who do evil things.” (1 Peter 3:8 MSG)

Remember, if you feel you MUST dig, CALL on God first for permission. It’s the law, and it’s for your safety!

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