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Archive for the ‘Jealousy’ Category

Nicolas_Poussin_-_St_John_the_Baptist_Baptizes_the_People_-_WGA18294

I had the privilege this morning of preaching on John 3:22-30 (titled “I Must Decrease”). Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: John the Baptist is an example of humility, who decreased the Jesus might increase.

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What does jealousy look like?

In a recent sermon, Alistair Begg painted a bit of a picture of just what the “green-eyed monster” might look like:

  • Jealousy can’t stand when others are doing better than we are.
  • Jealousy is sad at the happiness or success of others.
  • Jealousy makes us hostile to those who’ve never harmed or wronged us.
  • Jealousy seeks to bring about the ruin of others.
  • Jealousy fails to recognize that God knows what He’s doing in apportioning gifts.

This list hit home with me because I see them in myself, too. One of the occupational hazards of being a pastor is jealousy. You may not know that, but it’s true! For the seven years I spent in pastoral ministry, jealousy was a constant companion – the guest who wouldn’t leave. I, and all of my honest colleagues in the ministry, were jealous of other pastors (even ones we didn’t know personally), churches, staffs, and congregations, to name just a few.

That guest hasn’t showed up very much in the last year (thank God!). Maybe I’m enjoying what I’m doing (which being interpreted means school) too much to have time for it. Maybe the Holy Spirit is really at work in me to make me more like Christ. Maybe I’m growing more satisfied in God and a little less concerned about being satisfied with life. Maybe it’s a bit of all three.

Galatians 5:20 says that jealousy is one of the “works (or fruit) of the flesh.”  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).

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