There are times when I struggle with jealousy. I look at another man / woman of God and think deep within, wow I wish I could do that. Wish I had their position, ability, gifting, talent etc. I watch our singers and musicians play and sing often with awe – wishing I had their ability; for my shower turns its self off when I sing in it.
I watch some preachers and think, man, I wish I could preach like that. Or listen to a teacher and wish I could teach like that. Or watch a linguist translate or speak another language. Watch an artist and want to paint, draw like that. And then read a book, essay, blog or other and think, wow, I wish I could write like that.
I don’t believe there is any seed as destructive as the seed of jealousy. It’s fruit leads to the destruction of true relationship and identity. It’s fruit causes a level of bitterness, frustration, control and manipulation. It drives a wedge between family and community. And it destroys the sweet relationship we have with our heavenly father.
Last night I was challenged by the Lord as to the condition of my heart. I was watching and listening to a brother preach and I thought, ‘Man, I wish I could preach like that!” Pride rose up in me, and the Lord caused me to go to him, confess it and have him pray with me and in doing so, the seed of jealousy was rooted out and destroyed.
We can and should celebrate the calling, gifting,talents and uniqueness of each other. And in doing so, celebrate the calling, gifting, talents and uniqueness of our self. And the most powerful way I have found to celebrate another’s gifts, talents, callings is to pray for them. So during the week I pray for those I know who are preaching on Sunday. I ask the Lord to inspire, empower and unfold his word to them. I pray for our musicians, singers, our congregation and a variety of missionaries, scholars and other pastors in our church, community and around the world.
And in doing so, the Lord does something deep inside me. I become part of their ministry. I partake in the ministry the Lord has called them to do. In many ways their ministry changes from being ‘their’ ministry to ‘our’ ministry. And I believe this is the unity of purpose that our Lord calls his people to. For all ministry belongs to the Lord. It begins with him. It is his ministry. He has called us to partake in his ministry. And in our partaking the Lord co- joins us to empower us to do what he is calling us to do and in praying for each other, we continue the empowering partaking journey with each other.