Pride and jealousy. Are they opposites? I have been recalling a lot of memories lately. Those are all the words God has been giving me so I have used them. Today I try to find different words.
For by the grace given to me I say to every one of you not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think, but to think with sober discernment, as God has distributed to each of you a measure of faith. –Romans 12:3
This verse is talking about pride in the gifts God gave us. I am better than him and her because God gave me this gift. That really does not make a lot of sense when you put it that way does it? Only when we have placed ourselves into a position where we have accomplished something on our own power does this make sense. Our lives show us that we do not think that God is sovereign in this case. I am better than him and her because I am so awesome. Vanity.
This is a reason why I do not understand the problem people have with God being sovereign over everything. Anything else looks like vanity to me.
It is interesting to me that I see jealousy in this verse too. I recently reread an article I had read at some point in the past (it showed up in my feeds again). The author talked about how the elect many times perceive evangelism as an extroverted activity. I find this to be the perception in my life and many of those around me. This may not be a continual perception but one that appears to reflect the majority of my thoughts on evangelism. If I am not doing it the extroverted way, then I am doing it wrong. I become jealous of those who have the natural ability to be that person.
I have to constantly check myself. I have a role to play with the gifts God has given me. It may be to support the extroverted evangelist and they need the support both in prayer and direct behind the scenes work. I was asked a question a few weeks back by one of these extroverted evangelists. I did not know the answer but offered my service to find the answer. They gladly accepted. This was one of those times where I was excited to find this answer so they could spend their time using their gift and I could use mine to support them. I do not feel this way all the time but was thankful God showed me how He was using me.
So we have to avoid pride in the gifts God has given us and jealousy for the gifts He has given others. I’m sure I will need to learn that lesson again tomorrow. OK, most likely later today.