Reading: 1 Samuel 18:5-15
"The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose,
and each will be rewarded...according his own labour" (1 Cor 3:8)
Instead of rejoicing that God had given him a mighty warrior like David, King Saul became envious of him. This is what's happening again and again in the Church of Jesus Christ. When God raises men and ministries with special and spectacular gifts, the senior ministers and other Churches and organisations must have the grace to appreciate them and accept them as a supplement to them and their ministries. We are all serving the same Lord and all the gains of our labour go to the same Kingdom. This will keep us from unhealthy competition.
While attending Edinburgh '80, an international conference on missions, a Western mission leader asked me how many fulltimers we had on our staff in the Blessing Youth Mission which I was leading. At that time we had just thirty and I gave that number. The leader of another mission in India was standing besides me. Without anyone asking him, he said, "We have fifty!" This sort of rat race should stop among Christian ministries. The Cross of Christ must work deeply in us so we may die to the boasting of statistics. We are admonished both in the Old Testament and the New, "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom; let not the mighty man glory in his might; nor let the rich man glory in his riches; ...He who glories, let him glory in the Lord only" (Jer 9:23,24; 1 Cor 1:31). "Wisdom" here might refer to our brilliant methods in ministry; "might" refers to our hard work and fantastic accomplishments; and "riches" may speak of our financial strength.
Look at the example of Jesus in John 4:1-3, "When the Lord came to know that the Pharisees had heard that He had made and baptized more disciples than John... He left Judea and departed again to Galilee!" What a lesson to avoid overlapping and duplication leading to wastefulness of the Kingdom resources! Apostle Paul operated on the same principle. He testified, "We will not boast beyond measure...we are not extending ourselves beyond our sphere" (2 Cor 10:13-16).
Healthy competition is welcome as seen in games and sports. This way we can learn from one another. We must learn to rejoice in the victories of others (Rom 12:15). Any competition because of envy must be totally avoided. It is unchristian.
|<Forward this to a Friend>|