Thursday, April 04, 2013

"Success Breeds Envy Like Nothing Else Does"

Good word here on ministry envy from Joe Rigney:
Success breeds envy like nothing else does, and along with it rivalry, competition, covetousness, territorialism, and resentment. When there was a famine of Reformed teaching in the land, the rise of new Reformed voices was a welcome sight, an oasis in a parched land. But as God prospers us, and makes streams multiply in the desert, eventually the streams can start to give each other the sidelong glance. Instead of being filled with gratitude to God for his kindness, we become so many Sauls, stewing resentfully as we hear the crowds singing, “Saul has tweeted to thousands, but David to ten thousands.”

Envy is a movement-killer because it makes koinonia impossible. It operates close to home, assaulting our nearest relationships. I’d venture to guess that few men my age envy the opportunities John Piper has to preach at conferences. Instead we begrudge the gifts, talents, success, blessings, and opportunities of that pastor across town or that professor down the hall. At the college and seminary level, envy rears its head when someone else makes better grades, has more friends, is more likeable, is given more/better ministry opportunities, is better looking, more educated, more gifted, more popular, more intelligent, more esteemed, or more successful.
Read the rest.

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