Letters

GUARD AGAINST JEALOUSY, ENVY AND OFFENSE

A while back I heard a conversation amongst certain ministers, they were discussing about a minister and his ministry. The man was being lampooned as arrogant, proud, empty – but loud etc. Some of these claims may be true, but the hearts it was coming from were doubtlessly poisoned. For, if these were mere believers, it would have been bad, but to note these were shepherds of men made it all the more terrible.

Hi hi To be sure, jealousy and envy creeps in unknowingly. It is such a slimy demon. It is such a poisoned chalice – loads of ministers engage in it. Minister circles are soon becoming critical circles. It is unfortunate, that instead of sparking each other to good works, we are tunneling each other’s works down.

Jealousy and envy starts with a little comparison, a boastful suggestion of training, acquaintance or help given, then criticism of their methods and results, a critical evaluation of their style and processes. In fact, it get to a point the person is angry with even mundane things – like their clothes, haircut, expressions; and even a mention of the ‘victim’s’ name brings out venom. 

Many times, we don’t even call it jealousy; we call it defending the gospel. We speak arrogantly like God’s word has come only to us, masquerading jealousy and envy as defending the Gospel. Yes, you may have started ministry or church at the same time – it doesn’t guarantee same results; and you may apparently be more gifted – but as you may soon discover, gifts don’t translate to spirituality. 

Paul condemned the very gifted church at Corinth – He called them Carnal – yes Carnal – that’s what it means to be jealous and envious. “for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?” 1 Corinthians 3:3 NKJV. We cannot claim spirituality while we walk on in carnality. And yes, it does matter – for how can we raise a loving and spirit filled church, when we are a carnal bunch.

Dear Minister, in this 37th Letter my admonition is that you must guard against these things by observing to do the following;

1. Keep your focus and gaze on Jesus. If He is the goal; then surpassing others won’t come to your head. 

2. Maintain the right heart and spirit. Put garrisons upon your heart. Listen, it is what it is. Some people will have more crowds than you. 

3. Understand the purpose of the gospel is telling the good news, winning souls and advancing the kingdom. That may happen through you or others. Be happy, the kingdom is advancing.

4. Focus on the work God has called you to do. He is going to reward you only based on that. Focus!

5. Others are not competitors they are complements. We are all in this together. Diminishing a kingdom and building another.

6. Cut away from bad influences in ministry. You shouldn’t be a member of every ministers association. It’s not compulsory.

7. Be humble – learn from others. You don’t know everything. Learning and sharing should be the purpose of relationships.

8. Walk in the love of God. Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

9. Encourage others. Don’t pull them down. Be a fire lighter, not a fire extinguisher. 

10. Stop envy before it kills you. Now, this is important.

Finally, I read a quote long time, “envy and bitterness is like taking poison and expecting someone else to die”. Ministry is hard in itself, don’t add to the burden by slowly killing yourself, constantly drinking from the cup of envy and jealousy. Selah!

Your Greatness is Assured

Fisayo Adeniyi

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