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En(courage)ment for hard times, God Speaking, my thoughts on effective ministry

sometimes we think that our natural and unavoidable inclination is to be jealous

Sometimes we think that our natural and unavoidable inclination is to be jealous of those people we see succeed at good things, and things that we wish we were doing or had, and that there is no avoiding it. We give in to envy and comparison, thinking ourselves cheated of something that someone else has. A good marriage, a nice family, a cool car, amazing talent, ease with people, physical beauty…

But jealousy is a result of a broken world. It is a violation of our original design.

The deeper truth is that you were created to rejoice over the success and beauty and triumph of others. You were created for love. Gladness for another’s victory is an overflow of this. It is an overflow of restored wholeness.

All of us have brokenness that we can tend toward, bend toward in our dealings with others. Jealousy – the kind that wants what someone else has or despises them for having it – is brokenness. When we give in to it, we are perpetuating it’s cycle in our own life, both as a recipient and an initiator. We are building on a lie.

What you have been given is priceless. It is specific for this season, these people, these gifts, your children, your town, this time in history, this heart. Even in sorrow and tumult and darkness, you have something valuable to say. Your perspective cannot be duplicated. Don’t let jealousy silence your message. Don’t let comparison rob you of your voice. It is special. Your story has reproductive force, for better or for worse.

We tap in to who God made us to be when we choose love. When we rejoice to see the oldest dreams of our friends and family come true. When we see people taking steps of faith and hope, taking risk that defies fear, and we cheer them on. When we smile to see others blossom and thrive. And when we choose not to criticize from ulterior motives, but to freely give grace and coverage. It is captivating to watch someone else do amazing things. It speaks to the value of our own dreams. Speaks to the endless designs and ways in which God is capable of revealing Himself. Shows us how connected we are. Earns our respect. And fills us with new hope. So don’t get distracted by envy.

Maybe to you your gifts and circumstances seem old hat, but to someone else, perhaps they are the very instruments of healing and mercy and inspiration and freedom that He wants to use.

Be you. Run YOUR race. In YOUR lane. No one else can.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
1 Cor 13:4-8

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