Over the course of our lunch, our confessions metabolized envy into respect. By the time the lunch was over, we were committed to one another’s success in ministry, and we’ve continued a vibrant friendship to this day.
Pastoral envy is a scourge. It took me a while to learn what damage it can do—how it can make blessing taste bland, make God’s activity in your life and church seem small by comparison. To the extent we allow jealousy to take root, we are hurting ourselves and our churches. Sometimes we are too prideful to admit we envy someone else. May God humble us.
If you are envious of another church or pastor…confess it—even to them if possible. It’s the quickest, best way to repent and receive God’s healing. Don’t let pastoral envy take root in your heart. It will make your ministry less effective and less pleasing to God. It will also create a joy leak in your heart.
I wonder sometimes what our friendship would be like if he had never taken the initiative that day. I’d like to think we would have grown out of our sophomoric envy of one another. But, I don’t know. We might still be a little awkward around one another—and have missed out on the friendship we’ve enjoyed since lunch that day. I’m thankful he had the courage to take the initiative—and I pray this morning maybe you’ll do the same if Satan has sown seeds of envy in your ministry.
Life’s too short to envy others.
Ministry is too important to envy others.
Our relationship with the Lord is too valuable to sour it with even a mist of envy.
Let the Holy Spirit begin to turn envy into respect—and restore your heart.