Spur One Another On
“For He perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up.” Mark 15:10
Envy is an age old problem. As I’ve been reading through the gospels recently, I’m amazed at the number of times it mentions it was envy and jealousy that drove so much of the hatred that nailed Jesus to the cross. It wasn’t just that the chief priest and the pharisees didn’t agree with his teachings, it was also that they couldn’t stand seeing someone else followed more than them. They’d lost sight of why God placed them over the people — not for prominence or a following, but to shepherd them with love and truth. They’d lost their ability to hear from God and see God’s works around them. Their hearts were hardened.
Envy. It’s what drove Cain to kill Abel. That happened so early on in God’s amazing love story. Envy drove people to try and take thrones not meant for themselves. Envy drove Peter to ask Jesus in John 21:21, “What about him Lord,” just as Jesus was speaking to him about his purpose and calling to build the church. He worried John might receive a greater blessing. Jesus’ response in a nutshell, was “What is that to you?”
Envy is rooted in a lack of contentment, gratitude and awareness of God’s blessings. Envy is rooted in fearing others will receive more than us. I can’t imagine how much we grieve our Papa’s heart when he sees us, his kids, look at one another and complain that we don’t have what the other has, or worse — try to sabotage what God is doing through those around us. He knows what he is doing in each one of our lives. He has a unique place and calling on us all.
As I was running yesterday I was thinking on these verses and about the joy I have of being a part of so many amazing women’s worlds. I was thinking on my own wounds from envy rearing it’s ugly head in those around me. I thought of the times I’ve wounded others. And I was so grieved. Prayer rose up in me like a fight for God’s girls mainly, being that I am one and do life with so many amazing chicks – to lay down envy and put on love. To shift our glances on what others have, back on to God, so we don’t miss hearing what he has for us to do, who he has for us to love. I prayed that we would be women who would spur one another on toward love and good deeds as it says in Hebrews 10:24. And that we would be thankful for God’s provision and blessings; fully aware of them in every way in our lives.
Imagine what the world would be like if we all encouraged one another, becoming each other’s greatest cheerleaders. That is powerful. Imagine how much that would please the heart of God to look down and see his kids cheering one another on like the great cloud of witnesses cheering us on from Heaven. Imagine how much more effectively we would run our races in our lanes if we embraced God’s place for us and saw it as enough – giving gratitude and praise to him for using us in the ways he does. That’s possible. That’s what unity looks like in the church. As each of us run in our lanes and cheer one another on, Heaven is impacted. Each of us doing our part with joy brings the most glory to God’s name. That’s what is in us. We don’t have to be like so many who’ve gone before us. We can be different. Let’s choose love. Let’s choose to spur one another on.
Let’s pray: Father God, help me to cheer other’s on. Help me to look at their accomplishments and all you’ve called them to do and praise you for the ways you use them to fulfill your Kingdom purposes here on this earth. Help me to be different in this way. Help me to stand out as one who keeps others going. Help me to encourage with love and a pure heart to see other’s succeed. Help me to remember where you have placed me and what you have given me to do is not about me, but about you. It’s not about a following or prominence, but about loving and tending to those around me and those you’ve called me to lead. Only by your grace can I walk this out. In Jesus name, amen