Paul is the man. He was faithful. Seriously, he started tons of churches. I jokingly say that he wrote half the New Testament (he did write a large part of it!). If anyone in the Bible served God to the fullest, we see that Paul did.
And we see another thing from scripture. Paul suffered. Paul went through a lot. It was never easy for Paul. He suffered abuse, he suffered rejection, he suffered so very much for the sake of the gospel.
And, for many of us in our human skin, Paul had to face the temptation for what may be the hardest thing for us to deal with as humans, jealousy
Listen to what he says in Philippians 1:15-18:
Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.
Paul said, some folks preach for the right reasons. Some for the wrong. That doesn’t matter, what matters is that Jesus is preached. And now, it would be very easy for Paul to get jealous of those that are preaching for the wrong reason.
Perhaps get a little righteous. Perhaps get a little angry. Perhaps get a little jealous.
After all, here he is, doing it the right way. Doing it right. Living right. Doing right. Making sure everything is done the way that God wants.
And there they are, not caring. Doing it wrong! That’s not right! It would be very easy to get jealous or judgmental.
And as long as they are the focus, that will happen. When Jesus it the focus, it’s all ok. Because then He will be glorified and proclaimed, in all things.
And that was Paul’s purpose and point. And that’s what he lived for. He kept his focus on the right thing.
How do you fight against jealousy? Keep your focus on the right thing.
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