A post about growing a heart that genuinely is joyful when hearing about other churches that are seeing more fruit than the one you belong to.
This is hard.
For me, anyway.
We strive to see fruitfulness in our mission and ministry, but when others seem to have blessings that we’d like to experience there’s no room to wish it had been us instead.
Rather I want to pray that we’ll continue to be faithful, and that our friends would experience even greater blessings.
There’s a difference between being encouraged and inspired by others, and simply just wanting what it is that they’ve got.
That difference is grounded in a devotion to seeing the Kingdom grow, not just one local congregation.
Seeing my neighbor’s church’s spiritual harvest, its abundance of gifts, its overflow of zeal, and then looking back over my shoulder at the all-too-obvious weaknesses in my own? Holding up two sets of membership numbers and budget totals to the light of the same sun? Standing at the property line between ours and theirs? Oh my friends, that’s where Satan hangs out. That’s where the ancient Evil One slinks up beside us whispering envy.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shalt not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” (Ex. 20:17)
And you shall not covet your neighbor’s church.
The only way I know to silence that lion is to roar louder. The best way to shut up Satan and my own covetous heart is to pray.
I am frequently convicted by the words of my church’s catechism about the positive requirements of the tenth commandment. It says that we are to cultivate “a charitable frame of the whole soul toward our neighbor . . . and further all the good which is his.” (Westminster Larger Catechism Q. 147, emphasis mine)
So when my neighbor has some good thing, when my neighbor’s church is experiencing blessing after blessing after blessing, I ought to seek to multiply its blessing.
Read the whole post here.