This is not a selfish race. If you look at a natural race, everybody’s running. But everyone has their own lane. No one’s jumping on top of the other person, or trying to trip someone up on purpose (hopefully not). Remember, everybody’s trying to get to the finish line and finish well. That’s the same way it is in the kingdom. We all have our place in the body of Christ and we all have our own area of calling. And there’s no room for competition, jealousy, strife, division, unforgiveness, bitterness, contention, or vain glory. These things will only disqualify us.
That’s why Ephesians 4:31-32 warns and instructs us to, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tender-hearted, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” We all need forgiveness. We all need mercy. And we all need to be able to extend it to those whom we work with. So, if there is anything of the sort happening as you’re pressing to do God’s work, then I beckon you to get it right with God and the other person. Don’t let it fester, be a stumbling block, stagnate you, or be a hindrance to your effectiveness. Remember, we are one and we are a team.
Another thing that we have to watch out for is the enemy’s tactics with pinning us against one another or comparing ourselves to each other while we serve. This is a danger zone! I’m reminded of what Paul said when he was talking to the church of God in Corinth in 1 Corinthians 3:5-6 & 8-9, “Who is Apollos and who is Paul, that we should be the cause of such quarrels? Why, we’re only servants. Through us God caused you to believe. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. My job was to plant the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God, not we, who made it grow…The one who plants and the one who waters work as a team with the same purpose. Yet, they will be rewarded individually, according to their own hard work. We work together as partners who belong to God…” (NLT)
*Wow! So do you see this? There is no need for competition. Each person has their own part to play. And when we do what we’re called to do together, God brings forth the increase in other people’s lives for His glory. This is unity! And then guess what? He then rewards us individually for it! Amazing!
So, let’s do a quick recap. Watch out for competition, unforgiveness, strife, division, or bitterness. Don’t let it get you! And don’t allow the devil to destroy the good work that you’re doing by allowing jealousy to creep into your heart. Choose to obey God’s word on this oryou’ll only disqualify yourself and make life miserable for you and those around you. Quote, memorize, meditate, and pray this Scripture in Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me.” (My theme Scripture)
I’ll close with this. Do your part and work together as one and in unity in the body of Christ. Philippians 2:2 says, “Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one heart and purpose.” (NLT) We need this today. So let’s serve. Let’s love. Let’s forgive. Let’s show others Christ within us. And let’s get the job done together so that we can someday hear those precious words from Matthew 25:21 which says, “Well done, my good and faithful servant…” 😉
Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!
[written by Courtnaye Richard]