In John 3, the followers of John the Baptist tried to get him to drink the heart-numbing elixir of jealousy and envy when they said, “the one who you said is the Messiah is baptizing people, too.” They must have been living the thug life because they asked John: “Do you want us to put in some work and stop him?” In other words, they wanted to somehow stop Jesus’ success. John told them to slow their roll. Now, he could have been dragged into the numbers and success game, but John didn’t drink the cancerous libation. He responded with a line that is unnatural for me, but it is a principle that I need to rehearse and learn daily: “I am filled with joy at his success.”(NLT) Let’s be honest; It’s not easy being filled with joy for someone else whose . . .
ministry is larger than yours
budget is bigger than yours
popularity is greater than yours
books outpace yours
blog gets more traffic than yours
songs get played more than yours
networks are stronger than yours
living the life that should be yours
marriage is happier than yours
job pays more money than yours
body looks better than yours
enjoying the success and blessing that should be yours
checks have more zeros than yours
And the list goes on, doesn’t it?
I hear people saying all the time: “I work just as hard and spend just as many hours as they do, working on my craft, honing my skills, and being faithful to God and my family, but I don’t experience the same success.” Sometimes, it just doesn’t seem fair, does it?. Yet, John said: I am filled with joy at his (Jesus) success. So, how can I be filled with joy at the messianic status and success of others? Here is what I’m learning:
1. God gives each different gifts and niches in ministry.
2. I have to be faithful to and thankful for what God has given me.
3. We’re on the same team and playing for the same generous Coach.
4. Celebrate the success of others every chance I get.
5. Jealousy and envy are sins that prevent me from being fully present where I am.
Have you ever been tempted to drink the elixir of jealousy and envy? How difficult is it for you to be filled with joy at someone else success? What lessons are you learning?
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