Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pride and Envy

Recently, as I prepared the Wednesday message on Elijah and Elisha, I came across a fantastic quote and I felt compelled to share it. 

We should beware of defining success in Christian ministry by comparing ourselves to other workers. Those who gauge their success (including spiritual success) by how they compare to other people inevitably fall prey to the twin vices of pride and envy. Read Galatians 5:26; 6:4-5.

Pride grows when I conclude that I am more successful than others in any area. It is not only corrupting, but blind because the issue is not how much I have accomplished compared to others, but how well I am fulfilling the potential God gave me to serve him. This is the perspective that keeps me humble and motivated to press on.

Envy grows when I come up short compared to others in any area of talent or results that is important to me. I know from personal experience how ugly this is. Instead of being thankful for their contribution, I resent their ability and accomplishments because I feel like a failure. Why? Because I am evaluating my success as a person by arbitrarily comparing myself to another person instead of simply doing my best to be a faithful steward for God. When I recover this perspective, I can focus on simply being where God wants me to be, doing what God wants me to doand I then experience God's peace and empowering and fruit and satisfaction.

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