Have you ever watched a race? Have you ever seen what happens when a runner gets into another runners lane? Yap, disqualification. The runner is disqualified because he interfered with the effectiveness of the other runner. He may slow the runner down or cause the runner to fall.
Just like the runner who enters another runner’s lane, I find that there are people who want to do what others are doing instead of doing what God created them to do. These people are envious of the success of others.
We all have to be careful not to be envious of other people. Why?
Envy is not godly. James 3:14-16 (AMP) states, “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be arrogant, and [as a result] be in defiance of the truth. This [superficial] wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly (secular), natural (unspiritual), even demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder [unrest, rebellion] and every evil thing and morally degrading practice.
Envy is exhausting. Ecclesiastes 4:4 (MSG) states, “Then I observed all the work and ambition motivated by envy. What a waste! Smoke. And spitting into the wind.”
Envy affects health. Proverbs 14:30 (AMP) states, “A calm and peaceful and tranquil heart is life and health to the body, But passion and envy are like rottenness to the bones.”
Envy is destructive. It can make a person take an action he never thought possible. In Mark 15, Pilate knew that the chief priests had turned over Jesus to him because of envy and resentment. When we become envious, God cannot use us. Instead, we open a door for the enemy and he uses us to destroy not only ourselves but others. God desires to see us reach our full potential. James 4:2 states, “You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.”
How do we avoid being envious and stay on our own lanes?
- Realizing that God is will able to help and guide you. You may have all the people in the world backing you but without God, you will not be able to do what he wants done. Everyone has to depend on God.
- Realize there is not one with a greater and better assignment than the other. When we use our human eyes, we tend to think what others are doing is more important. This is not true. Everyone will be held accountable for what he has been directed to do. Don’t focus on what someone else is doing. Focus on God.
- The Holy Spirit works through each of us. Without God working through us, what we do is in vain. Let me give you an example. Some people have a natural talent of speaking or singing but the singing or speaking cannot edify the church if there is no backing by the Holy Spirit.
- Do not covet. Coveting means yearning to possess or have something. Ask God to help you have an excellent spirit as you exercise your gift.
- You are growing. Sometimes we may feel discouraged because others look like they are well advanced in their area of gifting and yet you are not. This is the deal. You and I are growing. Just work on your area of gifting and if you walk in obedience, the Holy Spirit will work through you.
- You are not insignificant. God can use you too. One day as I was reading the book of Judges, I came across two women. Deborah, the Prophetess, and Jael. Now Deborah was well known. The bible says that Deborah would sit under a palm tree and the children of Israel would go to her for judgment. She was the only woman who had such a prominent position and in those days. Jael was “no one” really in the eyes of a human. She held no position whatsoever. She lived in a tent somewhere away from her tribe. But guess who God used to destroy Sisera, a mighty man? Jael. You see, there is no one who is insignificant.
- Whatever you were created to do has the capacity to impact generations. One day to find out who preached to Billy Graham and he became a Christian. So I found out who it was. His name is Mordecai Ham. Mordecai Ham was born April 2, 1877 Kentucky. He resisted God’s call to become an evangelist because he wanted to be a salesman. His grandfather and father, both who were preachers had lived in poverty and he did not want that. He eventually became an evangelist. It is estimated he won close to 1,000,000 souls to Christ. Billy Graham was one of them who made his declaration of faith at a 1934 Ham meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina. Billy Graham said that this decision changed the whole direction of his life and three or four years later, he felt called to preach. There is no gift that is small. God can use any gift to make a great impact.
- Know your position. David was the King however he had some mighty men. None of them tried to be king. They all took their position of defending the king that God had anointed. You can read about them in 2 Samuel 23. Here are some of them;
- Josheb, who killed eight hundred men at one time.
- Eleazar, who arose and attacked the Philistines until his hand was weary and it stuck on the sword and there was great victory. The Israelites only came to plunder after the defeat of the Philistines.
- Shammah, who even when the people fled from the Philistines, he stationed himself in the middle of the field and killed them and the Lord brought great victory through him. And many more. These men knew their positions and they allowed God to use them.
Examples of other people God used;
- Rahab the prostitute who hid the Israelite spies.
- Gideon who asked God how he could save Israel seeing that he was from the weakest clan and he was the least in his father’s house.
- Samson’s mother whose name is actually not mentioned. I find this wonderful because God uses the people whose names are not even known in the society. She birthed the Samson.
- Apostle Paul’s nephew who overheard a plot by the Jews to kill Paul.
Success does not come by sprinting. It comes with first knowing why God created you, what you are meant to do on this earth at this moment in time, and how to do what you need to do. In order to succeed in what you were doing, do not try and become someone else or get into someone else’s lane. Stick to your own lane. Do your best and God will take care of the rest.
Author of Hopeful Living, Trusting God to Guide you through Life
Speaker and Radio Show Host of Woman Transformed
President of Woman Transformed