I had to ask myself a difficult question this week – do I harbor envy, or celebrate the success of others?
Watching others succeed…
When I was a child, I used to watch the infamous “Price Is Right” on TV. It was Nan and Pop’s lunch time programming and therefore mine as well! Now that I’m a parent, Rae (who’s only two) and I often watch it when I’m home for lunch. Bob might be retired, but Drew helps us continue the legacy! When someone wins, we yell “YAYYY!” When someone loses, we say, “OH, NOOO!” What a hoot!
Game shows are an interesting concept though – cheering on contestants who have the chance to win something. The only pleasure we have is watching them succeed.
Real life can be very similar to watching a game show. There are many times when we see those around us succeeding. Sometimes they might even succeed doing something we love to do. Every time that happens we have a choice: will I harbor envy, or will I celebrate their success?
If we were really honest with ourselves, our humanity gets in the way of this decision. Let me be honest with you for a minute. It took me a while to realize that the enemy can kick me when I down if I’m not careful. If unchecked, it can actually stop me from pursuing God’s lead in my life.
In the last while…
My wife’s phenomenal preaching…
Deidre speaks at our church about ten times a year. Her speaking style is completely different from mine. For one thing, she can make any story a humorous gift to any listener. If you’re not laughing it’s because you’re stubborn, not because it’s not funny.
But here comes the humbling moment. The last time she spoke, she received not one, but two celebratory rounds of applause regarding her sermon! Something I’ve never received. At that moment, I had a choice to make: would I harbor envy, or would I celebrate her successful delivery?
3 great friends with 3 three great blogs…
About five years ago, God gave me a passion to start a blog. I had it all setup, I just never thought anyone would read what I had to say. Through starting and quitting several times and with little response or encouragement, it took me five years to get serious. When I finally did, three of my friends launched new blogs as well. They are fantastic writers and leaders and I proudly read their posts. At that moment, however, I had a choice to make: would I harbor envy, or would I celebrate their success?
At this point…
If you’re still reading, you’re probably going into “Ultimate Christian Mode,” and saying, “Andrew, you can’t let that bother you…keep doing what you’re doing! …blah blah blah.”
Here’s my point, we need to honestly keep ourselves in check to make sure we don’t derail ourselves. God has a plan for all of us and those plans work together in unity. It’s not enough to simply say, “Don’t let that bother you.” We have to all individually realize what part of the body we represent. Stick with it. And run the race together in unity.
When Paul wrote about the unity of the Church, he told us we are all like different parts of the body – all working together in purpose. That means everyone has a role and each role is different, unique and required for Kingdom growth (1 Corinthians 12).
My wife and I could speak on the same topic and both sermons would be presented differently and uniquely for a different purpose. Likewise, my fellow bloggers could address the same issue and result in four different thought-provoking posts.
So how should we respond? Envy? or Celebrate?
I’ve quit blogging several times in the past five years. It’s very easy to let envy slow us down, affect our self-esteem, and stop us from doing our part in the Kingdom. But instead of giving up, like the enemy wants us to do, we need to focus on our unique role and celebrate the success of others. I can’t think of a better way to humble our own efforts and build the Kingdom together!
How are you experiencing the impact of envy?
What do you need to do to support and encourage the success of those around you?
By the way, make sure to check out these awesome blogs that I mentioned above, here (alphabetical order):
“Jason Normore blog” https://jasonnormoreblog.wordpress.com/ (Jason Normore)
“Learning to Lead” https://kaylapardyjoy.com/ (Kayla Pardy Joy)
“Spillin’ the Beans” http://www.spillinthebeans.ca/ (Ashley Kentie)