Someone asked me once, “ So, who died and made you the Pope of Perfection?” She asked this question because she was angry because I witnessed to a friend about the importance of being saved. She didn’t like it at all that I called (not me but the Bible) her pet sin a sin. She also mistakenly thought that I was of the Catholic faith (thus the title Pope), but I assure you that I am Openly Holy! That’s Holiness! Because Holiness is Still Right! I should have answered her and said that the one who died and made me who I am was JESUS! However, I just laughed at her term for me because what she didn’t realize was that she encouraged me to witness with even more boldness. My words must have had a strong effect upon her because she actually followed me to my inbox on FB to fuss me out. Bless her Lord; deliver her Jesus is my prayer. So, here I go, more encouraged than ever to obey the Lord and say what He tells me to say. Today I will be using the gift of the Word of Wisdom that God gave me to hopefully strengthen and encourage the church. I heard the words “jealousy in the church” as I was in prayer this morning and I knew that I was to share about that green-eyed demon in this post. It does not in anyway mean that I am the Pope of Perfection (or in this case the Wonder Woman of Wisdom) because I share what He gave me. I’m just doing what He told me to do. Is it wise for me to identify the gift for what it is? I think so, because by so doing, maybe others will take their spiritual gifts out of the wraps that they use to cover them up and use those gifts to help the body of Christ.
Jealousy in the church. Of course we are not talking about the type of jealousy that is felt when one’s romantic relationship is threatened. We are talking about the type that makes us feel that our standing or position in the church is threatened. Here we are in spiritual warfare and, instead of fighting our common enemy, we’re fighting among ourselves because of the spirit of jealousy. Hopefully, after this little message jealousy will get a black eye and we as Saints of God will begin to love and respect each other as we should.
What exactly is jealousy? Webster defines jealousy as an unhappy or angry feeling of wanting to have what someone else has. Synonyms for jealousy are covetousness, enviousness, green-eyed monster, invidiousness, envy, resentment. The Bible identifies jealousy as something that should be resisted. 1 Corinthians 3:2-3 (KJV) lets us know that the jealous person is a carnal and immature Christian:
2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
We all know that the devil is not our only enemy. As Saints of God we also have to fight against an enemy that resides within our own person and his name is the flesh. The natural man or the human part of us is full of pride. It does not want to see anyone move forward or get ahead of us. But our true desire as Christians should be to be what God says that we are to be. We should be content with who God has made us to be. Jealousy among saints is one of the major reasons that the church is unable to grow any faster and move forward as it should. But the persecution that is coming upon the church is going to force us to get out of self and put on the whole armor of God. We will only be able to do this by loving, strengthening and encouraging each other. If a colony of ants or a hive of bees can honor their leaders and work in their own positions why can’t we?
Consider a group of children growing up together in the neighborhood in love and harmony. As they begin to mature a change begins to take place. One of the young men may suddenly grow taller than the others. While his friends may be around 5’ 9”, he suddenly zooms to 6’4”. Or a young lady may have been just another member of her BFFs until the summer that she developed curves that the others did not have. The jealousy among her friends may be especially potent if she had less defined curves than all when suddenly her shapeliness exceeded them all. This is also how it is in the church world. Let’s say that a young man was born into a particular church and grew up under wonderful men of God who helped to train and encourage him. Then, under circumstances that no one really expected, God began to pour out His blessings and anointing upon him. In the course of time that young man is elevated to be the leader of the entire group that encouraged him. There is the potential that the older men who loved and encouraged him might suddenly become jealous of that young man, feeling that he had no right to his new status or position. Mature men of God, however, would not succumb to the enemy and allow the green-eyed demon of jealousy to prevail. Even the peers of the young man might feel jealous because he was once just one of them. But what we must remember is that God is sovereign. He blesses whomever he chooses to bless. He exalts whomever He chooses to exalt. But there is just one other thing that might help us all to fight the human emotion of jealousy when God moves in this way. What we have to remember is that just as the potential to be 6’4” was in the young man when he was born and just as the potential to be curvy was in the young woman when she was born, so was God’s plan for the young man who became the leader. It was in the package at birth! Just because we didn’t know it when the child was born, the child is simply fulfilling the destiny that God had for him all along.
Can we as saints just relax and let God be God? Can we fight against the natural desire to be great in the eyes of man? To be great in the eyes of God is what we should all desire. If God wanted a beautiful 4’9” young man or a young lady who could sew but not sing a lick when He made you, just be who He made you to be. It is especially important to remember our lesson about jealousy when God exalts one from our midst. I have also learned that just because one person moves into their role first it does not make them any more important than anyone else. When others move into their roles they are all peers. And it may be that God will elevate one higher than another. If the first man or woman of God were truly humble, there would be no jealousy in his or her heart if one of the peers exceeds his or her position or level of anointing. It’s the same as the situation that occurred when the young man grew to be 5’9” first in his group but was exceeded when his friend became 6’4”. That’s just life. Let’s all grow into the potential that our sovereign God has set for each of us. Jesus was raised from obscurity to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords… or so it appeared. In actuality, Jesus was BORN to be KING. It came with the package.
John 18:37 (KJV) 37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice
So, when one of our peers moves ahead of us to become what we consider to be great, Saints let’s not get jealous. Just remember that that individual is just maturing into the person that God meant him or her to be from the beginning. It came with the package. Instead, let’s each of us allow the Holy Spirit to mold us into the perfect image of Jesus Christ, maturing in love and bowing to the perfect Will of God.
1 Corinthians 13:4 (KJV)
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Hey, if we are successful, then perhaps we will earn the title of “The Perfect Pope of Perfection”. Let’s just do what we do for the glory and honor of God. May God bless you today and always. And, as the older saints used to say, “Pray my strength in the Lord, because I do mean Jesus in my life”.