Church Jealousy

When pastors get together for meetings there are often a few different personality types at the table.

Type A is exhausted. Their ministry is falling apart (again) and they don’t know what to do.

Type B is embellishing. Maybe it’s to encourage themselves, maybe it’s to feel accepted.

Type C is doing good. They know it could be better, but God is at work.

Type D is on fire. Salvations, baptisms, miracles and the like are commonplace.

Most pastors fluctuate back and forth between these types depending on what season they’re in. They all get together fine at the table, but there’s sometimes an inner dialogue going on that they need to work hard to overcome.

On this particular day many years ago, I was a Type A sitting in a meeting dominated by two Type D’s. Perhaps it should have been inspiring, but instead I found it deflating, if not defeating. If you’re not careful to guard such thoughts, they soon turn to jealousy which clouds everything. Left to grow, it can even make you mad or judgmental about the amazing things other churches are doing. “Oh, they had another baptism service, huh? Oh, even more people are being saved? I wonder if they take discipleship seriously though.” Then add the fuel of a pandemic to those feelings and watch the whole thing burst into flames.

After wrapping up his teaching one sabbath, Jesus healed a guy’s hand, which made the local teachers furious. “He healed someone? The fruit of Heaven itself right in front of us? The effective ministry of God Himself doing miraculous work before our own eyes? He did that on the Sabbath? I wonder if he takes this day seriously at all.”

What a dumb thing to be mad ab—

Oh…


*This devotional was created out of the themes of Luke 6:1-11 found in today’s reading at CommonPrayer.net.

3 comments

  1. It’s hard definitely when you see others having testimonies when you have none. I believe the best way to avoid jealousy is being able to rejoice with those who rejoice as in Romans 12 explains really well. We can’t rejoice with them if we see them as adversaries and not as brothers. We must noe compete every man has his own race to run. Another thing is to just ASK God for what we desire. Most of the time we expect good things but don’t know how to ask. The last thing is we can humble ourselves and find out how they are doing it not so that we can get the credit but for the sake of the kingdom of God.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good word. I’ve worked hard in my city to promote unity between pastors and have found what you’re saying to be true. I just also know what happens when I’m not careful to guard my thoughts 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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