Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world.
- 1 John 2:15-16
Some people always have to get the most attention, always have to be the star, always have to be better than everyone else.
But the Bible says, "Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy" (Romans 13:13, emphasis added).
"Strife" refers to persistent contention, bickering, petty disagreement, and enmity. This reflects a spirit of antagonistic competitiveness that fights to have its own way, regardless of the cost to itself or others. It is really the desire to prevail over other people. This is the person who wants the highest prestige, the greatest prominence, and the most recognition. This is someone who must be the top dog.
The word "envy" refers to someone who can't stand being surpassed and begrudges others success and position. They are pretty happy with the way things are going until someone else gets something they want. It has been said that envy shoots at another and wounds itself. In the end, the only one who gets hurt is you. The person you envy probably doesn't even know (and probably could care less).
A crab fisherman was once asked why he didn't put a lid on the bucket that held his day's catch. He replied, "The moment one of them climbs out, the others reach up and pull it back down again."
We do the same thing, don't we? You come back down here with the rest of us! How dare you succeed? How dare you do well?
The apostle Paul warned, "But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!" (Galatians 5:15).
As believers, our competition is with the world, the flesh, and the devil (see 1 John 2:15–16), not with fellow Christians.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000
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