This section from, The Grandmother’s Bible, by Dawn Scott Jones, spoke to me today and I wanted to share it with you.
“We long to be first, to be the center of attention, to have control. We hate to admit it, but we can struggle with insecurity and jealousy and sometimes become threatened when others succeed. We find secret satisfaction when our rival fails. We yearn for significance, to accomplish something great.
But Jesus redirects our earthly rationale by teaching us that being great means serving, choosing to be second, stepping out of the limelight so someone else can shine. We are on our way to greatness in God’s perspective when we roll up our sleeves and offer our gifts wherever they are needed.”
This attitude of “being on top” is not only seen and felt in the secular world but in ministry, too. Why—because we are fleshy people. Our flesh side or our human side longs to be number one, the shining star, the top dog. But the truth is there is only one super star and His Name is Jesus Christ.
We are all His supporting actors in a story not about us, but all about Him! If we really want our name to go down in history, we must step into our God-given roles making the star forever look good.
With this mindset, I’m able to fight my human side that longs to be first, and fight for the cause of Christ among the multitudes who are also striving to make our great God known. Besides, ministry is NOT a competition. We are all on the same team seeking to score one for the kingdom of God. Seeing others in ministry as competitors should raise a red flag.
The Word of God says that envy is rooted in evil.
“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. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21)
When you and I seek to be on top or feel threatened by others success, then we are allowing our sinful nature to control us. On the other hand, those who are walking in the Spirit of God will bear the fruit of the Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Gal 5:22-26)
Whether you work in ministry or the secular world, as children of God this is how we are to live. We are to view others as teammates, not competitors, working toward the same goal—lifting up the name of Jesus. This quote by Ronald Regan sums it up. “”There is no limit to what a man or woman can do or where he or she can go if he/she doesn’t mind who gets the credit.” That’s success according to God’s economy because it allows us to work together as teamates as build the kingdom of God.