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Why Envy is a Ministry Killer

If you want a quick way to derail your ministry, envy someone else’s ministry. It’s the top barrier to fulfilling God’s purpose for your life. And it’s one of the quickest ways to have God’s anointing on your life removed. You must eradicate it from your life.

Envy is insidiously destructive. Anger, addictions, and adultery are all overt sins. But you can hide envy. Yet, God can see it. He knows it will impact others, too.

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 10:12, “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” (NIV)

Envy denies your uniqueness before God. The Lord never, ever makes a clone—only individuals. When you try to be someone else—whether it’s preaching like someone else, leading like someone else, growing your church like someone else—you’re denying the unique manner in which God made you. That’s dangerous and unwise.

It’s also a rejection of how God made you—and an insult to Him.

The problem with envy is that it simply doesn’t end. When someone commits adultery or has an angry outburst, it happens and it’s over. But envy never leaves. It just keeps on going. And it shrinks your heart and makes you miserable in the process.

How do you eradicate envy? Stop comparing yourself with someone else. Comparison is the root of all envy. Whenever you start comparing yourself, you’re in a no-win situation. If you compare yourself with someone who is more effective than you, you’ll be full of envy. If you are more effective than they are, you’re full of arrogance and pride. Either way, comparisons will take you down.

We tend to compare ourselves to our peers. Athletes compare themselves with other athletes. Lawyers compare themselves with other lawyers. Pastors compare themselves with other pastors. And we compare ourselves with the ones closest to us. The successful pastor across the country doesn’t bother us—but the one across the street does.

During Saddleback’s first year, the church grew from just Kay and I to about 150 people. Out of those 150 people, 75 to 80 were baptized. I was like the director of an orphanage with a church full of new believers. At one point I read the denominational annual for Baptists in California and discovered that Saddleback was among the top 10 in the state in Baptisms. I started to get proud.

Then God slammed me up against the wall. God hadn’t called me to compare myself to someone else. He hadn’t called me to be best pastor in the world, or the best pastor in California – or even the best pastor in Orange County.

He has called me to be the best pastor I can possibly be given the gifts, talents, parents, experiences and opportunities God gave me. I didn’t choose any of those qualities. God gives you a set of gifts and judges you on how you use them. He won’t judge you on the gifts you don’t have. He’ll say, “What have you done with what I’ve given you?”

Psalm 139:16 says “Even before I was born, you had written in your book everything I would do.” (CEV) God planned every day of your life – but you can miss that plan. If you spend your whole life trying to be someone else, you’ll miss God’s plan for you.

This article is from Rick’s webcast for pastors. Watch the video now.

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