Sunday Scriptures — Has Jealousy Gotten in the Way?

Isaiah 40That Sunday, Wes stood in front of the congregation. “If you aren’t praying for the success of your ministers, then, you are partly to blame if they fail.”

Ouch! Guilty. Any other hands raised?

What kept me from sincerely praying for the success of others’ ministries through the years? Jealousy? Was I secretly wishing they’d fail?

Was I the only one who’d ever felt that way? Unfortunately, all I had to do was look at the disciples of John the Baptist, to see I was not.

While John was filled with joy over Jesus’ success, and happy to be the one preparing the way for Christ’s ministry, his disciples were not. John was happy to be the bridegroom’s friend. He did not need to be the main event. He knew his ministry had to decrease, so Jesus’ ministry could increase.

His disciples, on the other hand, were jealous. They considered Jesus a threat to their ministry. John tried to persuade them differently.

John explained that God appoints each man’s (and woman’s) work. John tried to show his disciples their ministry had already succeeded by pointing people to Christ. John knew he had fulfilled the work God had called him to do. There was no need for jealous competition.

Somewhere, I read that Christians are the only army that shoots its own soldiers.

Is that what we do when we won’t pray for the success of others’ ministries?

What are your thoughts on the subject?

One day someone began an argument with John’s disciples, telling them that Jesus’ baptism was best. So they came to John and said, “Master, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River—the one you said was the Messiah—he is baptizing too, and everybody is going over there instead of coming here to us.”

John replied, “God in heaven appoints each man’s work.”   John 3:25-27 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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