Let it Go: Envy

Keith Chandler, Journey Christian Church

Not letting go can devastate our relationships. Researchers are discovering that many of the problems we have physically are a result of us not letting things go emotionally.

Pastor Craig Groeschell says, “The fastest way to kill something special is to compare it to something else.”

You know that’s true. Here’s the problem. The moment we begin to do that, one of two things happen: we either feel superior or inferior, and NEITHER honors God.

There’s a story in Scripture about the apostle John and the apostle Peter in John 20. The Bible is so honest because it lets us know all the ridiculous things they do.

When you read about their interactions with Jesus, you hear one say. “I get to sit next to Jesus,” and the other one is saying, “Jesus, do you think I’m the greatest?”

I say this with all due respect that the apostle John might have been a little annoying.

Here’s why I say that: he refers to himself in third person. He refers to himself as “the one Jesus loved.”

It’s similar to when Moses, who wrote much of the Old Testament, said, “Moses was the most humble man around.” That’s funny! Read John 20.

“A group of woman were going to the tomb after Jesus death to prepare the body with spices to help it decompose better. So Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.” John 20:3-4

Yeah, yeah, Jesus is risen, but I’m faster than Peter. Let’s get that written down, okay?

“Then the disciple (In case you’ve forgotten) who had reached the tomb first also went in.” John 20:8

Fast forward a little. They have a meal with Jesus. Then the disciple Jesus loved (John) said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” In other words, “I’m the first to notice it’s Jesus!”

“When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work), and jumped into the water.” John 21:7

This is where the story moves from funny to really powerful. Jesus predicted Peter would deny him three times. Peter is thinking, “I NEVER had a chance to tell him I’m sorry.”

Peter and Jesus start this walk along the seaside; and Jesus looks at Peter and asks him. “Do you love me?” Peter says, “You know that I do.”

Did you catch the irony here? Three denials, three questions.

“Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them.” John 21:20

Peter and Jesus are having this important conversation, and John’s walking behind them trying to listen. “You guys talking about me?”

“When Peter saw him, he asked, ‘Lord, what about him?’” John 21:21

What’s he gonna do? What Jesus says next has the power to break the spirit of envy in us all.
“Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.’” John 21:22

If I have a job for him that is better than yours, what is that to you? YOU follow me. We cannot faithfully follow Jesus if we’re always comparing ourselves to somebody else. When you’re looking around and you see somebody’s talent. Stay in your lane.

You see somebody else’s house or car, you stay in your lane. You see somebody else’s life; you stay in your lane. What is it to you how God blesses other people? You follow Jesus.

Until next time,
Keith

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