Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


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Overcoming Jealousy and Envy

  • Jim Townsley
  • May 23, 2017
Sad to say, some of God’s men are guilty of the sin of jealousy. Jealous pastors can cause many problems, not only for themselves, but for their congregations. Church planters are especially vulnerable to this sin. Comparing your ministry to other ministries sets a dangerous precedent that will eventually hinder the work of God. “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves:” -- 2 Corinthians 10:12  
It is a good thing to evaluate the effectiveness of your ministry but there are many variables to consider when assessing one’s success in church planting.  Furthermore, it is impossible to use other ministries as an accurate measure of success or failure. Becoming jealous over another preacher’s ministry and his perceived success can bring undue stress and eventually failure to a church planter. The measure of a man’s success is determined by the extent of God’s control in his life and God alone will be the judge of success. One man’s perceived failure may actually be a success in the eyes of God. Preachers must always weigh the success of their ministry on the basis of God’s standard. Knowing and doing the will of God is always the first step to success regardless of what others may be doing. 
The Bible is clear concerning the sin of jealousy and even good men, called of God, are susceptible to it. “But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.” -- James 3:14  For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” -- James 3:16  “. . . jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.” -- Song of Solomon 8:6  
Why would a preacher become jealous over another man doing the work of God? Here are a few reasons:
1. A higher attendance
2. More salvation decisions
3. Greater offerings
4. A better facility
5. Quicker results
6. More recognition
7. Faster church growth
8. More talent
9. A larger salary
10. Members left your church for another
Keep in mind there is a difference between jealousy and pointing out the errors and compromise of another ministry. Any church or preacher that compromises should not be hailed as a success, rather preachers should warn others of their dangerous ways. Warnings must not be made out of jealousy, but from conviction based on the Word of God.  
If every preacher could see the work of church building from God’s eyes it would change his perspective about other’s successes. We should be able to rejoice with those that rejoice and mourn with those that mourn. “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.”  -- Romans 12:15. We should pray for one another and be a blessing to one another. Christ’s one payer request was to pray for laborers and if there are more laborers more work will be done for Christ. God needs more godly servants and we must remember that we will not reach the world alone. God is able to use many people from various backgrounds to go to different fields to build a work for Him. Let us not be jealous over good men doing the work of God. Let us rejoice in their success.