Have you ever worked really hard at something only to realize that the recognition you think you deserve is going to another person? Or have you watched someone take credit for your idea and then receive opportunities that you long for? Areas in which you know you could succeed but instead, someone else receives the applause? But what if the results are the same regardless of who makes the suggestion or proposes the great idea? The mission is accomplished and people still grow, change, and are drawn to the grace of Jesus. Yes, even as Christ-followers, it is easy to give in to the temptation of jealousy.

In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul continues to address the self-centered immaturity and immorality of the people at the church in Corinth. Verse 3 says, “for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?” Immaturity harbors jealousy whereas a mature believer recognizes that the work is about Christ, not themselves. Notoriety, fame, and prestige are solo expeditions.

Verses 9-10 go on to say, “For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder, I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it.” We could expand verse nine to say, “You are God’s non-profit ministry. You are God’s generosity, supporting missionaries all over the world. You are God’s hands, planting a seed, that someone else will water.” The point is not who gets credit for the work, but rather how it is received. Proverbs 14:30 does not mince words, “A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like a cancer in the bones.”

When we come to the realization that all we do is for the glory of God, it takes away the weight of needing recognition for ourselves. When our hearts are attuned to the message of Christ, to the hope that he offers, we are free to lose sight of ourselves and give God the glory for all!

Lynette Fuson 
Director of Care & Counseling

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