Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3393

Jump Start # 3393

Note: Jump Starts are taking off next week off to recharge our batteries. We hopefully will be back on August 28th. You can always go to the Jump Start website (jumpstartsdaily.com) to find over three thousand articles written.

Acts 13:45 “But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began contradicting the things spoken by Paul, and were blaspheming.”

  I was out mowing the other day and I got bit. It wasn’t a bee. It wasn’t a mosquito. It certainly wasn’t a snake. But it was one of the worst bites I’ve had in a long, long time. It bothered me the rest of the day. And, what bit me was the spirit of jealousy. As I mow, my mind thinks, reflects and considers. I was thinking about some things people said recently. More so, I was thinking about what some were saying about other preachers. And, right then is when I got bit. Great things were being said about sermons others preached. Great praise was being expressed to the good others were doing. And, most times, I’m right there singing those same praises. But alone on my mower I thought, “No one is saying that about me,” and that’s when the jealousy bug bites. And, that bite hurts.

  All through our Bibles jealousy is condemned. It creates bad thoughts about others. One has a hard time rejoicing with others when he has been bitten by jealousy. Rachel was jealous of her sister. Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him. Although the text doesn’t specifically say this, it seems that Cain was jealous of Abel. The Corinthians were ripe with jealous, which naturally leads to division. Jealousy is listed as one of the works of the flesh in Galatians.

  The way that males are wired, our self worth comes from what we do. Our value is based upon what we do. This is why males are more competitive in nature. This is why our jobs and what we do is so wired into how we view ourselves. A mistake a young bride makes is telling her husband that he can’t do things like her dad can. That knocks the wind out of a young husband. He’s being compared and he didn’t come out on top.

  And, although we would never admit it, yes, we preachers have egos and can be jealous of one another. I have stood at the door of the church beside a visiting preacher as someone loudly said, “Boy, I sure wish we could have preaching like that all the time around here.” Yep, I heard that. And, yes, it stung.

  Here are some things I have learned:

  First, the spirit of jealousy doesn’t put you in a good place. It makes you have thoughts that are not productive, useful, nor Biblical. It makes you want to find fault with the one you are jealous of. And, jealousy makes you not like the person who is praising another. Why are they not praising me, you think. So, you begin not liking that person. The faster one can get rid of jealousy the better.

  Second, among us preachers, we are all different. We have different strengths. Some are so polished in the pulpit. Others are great at evangelism. Some have amazing podcasts. Some are gifted writers. And, everyone has their favorites. But we must recognize that we are not in competition with each other. We are on the same team. We are after the same goal. It’s not about us, or which one of us is the best, it’s about Jesus. The old expression of hiding ourselves behind the cross, is something that we need to remind ourselves of. We should want all of us to do our very best. My best is all that I can do. I need to work at it. I need to learn. But in the end, I can only be me. I can’t be like someone else. But when all of us in the kingdom are doing our best, it will just help the kingdom. That’s the goal. It’s not about the number of followers, stats on viewers, readers, books published and such things. It’s about doing all we can to help the kingdom.

  Apollos is described as an eloquent man, mighty in the Scriptures. The Corinthians didn’t think much of Paul’s preaching. Apollos came to Corinth. One can assume that they loved him, because he spoke so well. Was he better than Paul? Don’t go there. Talented in different areas, grow the kingdom.

  Third, some of the hardest working preachers are unknown to most of us. They do not hold many meetings. They work in congregations and just mind their business and do the work God wants them to do. And, that is the best remedy for the bite of jealousy. Get busy and do what you can do. Is the Lord pleased with what you are doing? Some will like others more than you. That’s ok. Some will talk about others and never mention you. That’s ok. The Lord knows and it’s the Lord that you are trying to please.

  Fourth, most of the preachers I know would go out of their way to help anyone get to know Jesus. They’d take an afternoon and spend it with a young preacher to answer his questions and help him grow. They are open to share ideas and things that have worked well for them. They have the spirit that they want all of us to do our best.

  And, interestingly, by the time I was finished mowing, the sting of jealousy no longer bothered me. I’m doing what I can, the best way I know how. God has given me special talents and I am thankful for that.