Monday, October 17, 2011

Envy & Selfish ambition

[From October 11, 2011]

"For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind."
(James 3:16)

As an athlete, a healthy sense of ambition and competition is very good.  As a follower of Jesus, however... not so much.  Actually, says the author of James, it's "selfish ambition" and "envy" that leads to trouble for believers.
  • Selfish ambition...  aka "Looking out for No.1!"  This mindset puts ourselves ahead of everyone else.  It only desires "what's best for me," without regard to the impact it has on others.
  • Envy... Wanting what someone else has (or has been given by God).  This isn't just materialistic desires either (envying another's car, home video system, house, gaming console, etc.)... we fall into other cases of envy - including in the ministry.
As a pastor, I know God has gifted me a certain way.  It's who I am.  Who He created me to be.  I am an integral part of the Body of Christ.  But so are you!  You have unique gifts & abilities God has given you, too.  It does neither of us any good to wish (desire, long for, envy!) we had what each other has.  God reminded me of this on my trip a few weeks ago to the Philippines.  I was humbled by the incredible dynamic power present in my fellow pastors.  And for a while, I was having a problem with envy.  But God changed my heart.  I am content with who he created me to be.  What a gift!