For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. ~ James 3:16 (NKJV)
READING: James 3:13-18
It was wrong and I knew it, but I couldn’t seem to stop envying a church planter in my area whose church seemed far more successful. In fact, every Sunday I had to drive past his church to get to my temporary facility and when I drove by, my thoughts were along the lines, “Why does he seem to have so much more success, Lord? It’s not fair. He has a nice facility; I have a temporary facility. He has a big crowd; I have a little huddle.”
It didn’t occur to me that there were a lot of other factors involved. I knew virtually nothing about how his church started. I had no idea if they were leading people to Christ. I did not know about his walk with God. I did not consider God’s sovereignty. I just knew I coveted what he had.
After a year or so of this sinful attitude, one night I attended an evening service at that church. Their District Superintendent was there. To my amazement, I had stumbled into a service where they were discussing what to do now that their pastor had been caught in adultery. His family was shattered, his ministry ruined, and his testimony to the community was stained.
God’s warning in James is clear. “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.”
God’s promise to us is also clear. “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5 ESV ).
Lord, Please teach me contentment, no matter what. Thank you for all your good gifts to me. Amen.
Mark Alan Williams