Am I keeping my eyes on the work that the Lord has for my life today, or finding myself jealous or even judgemental about what others are doing?
John said to Jesus, “Master, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he isn’t in our group.” But Jesus said, “Don’t stop him! Anyone who is not against you is for you.”
Luke 9:49-50 NLT
Comparison to others is dangerous. It leads to either jealousy/envy or pride. This is because it falsely gives us the sense of either being under someone or over them. We aren’t to be called teachers nor call others teachers because we have one one teacher, the Holy Spirit. We each have one authority we should be walking under and that is God. So comparing ourselves is not just foolish, it can be dangerous – since jealousy and envy are counted in Galatians 5 as sins that must be cast out or bound in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Even though comparison to others isclearly dangerous, comparison to Christ is the way. This type of right comparison in our lives leads to humility, it puts us in the right position under the authority of God’s will.
These disciples who had just recently come to Christ having not been able to together cast out a demon, and having been rebuked for their “little faith”, and taught by Christ what needed to be changed and corrected in their own methods – they saw someone else operating in that same capacity and they attempted to hinder that person because they did not understand and they were comparing. In that comparison, they found jealousy and tried to hinder another worker in the Kingdom of God because he wasn’t “in their group” or was operating in a way they “weren’t accustomed to”.
How often do we see this today? One group of people who gather in fellowship together, making a name for themselves as a group and isolating themselves from other believers – judging other believers because they operate a little differently in how the Lord is using them to carry out His will. How often it would be nice to have Jesus in the flesh to rebuke them saying, “Don’t stop him! Anyone who is not against you is for you.”
But if we won’t listen to the Holy Spirit in us, we have to ask if we would even listen to Jesus Christ beside us. These hardened hearts need healing. We need to appreciate one another, encourage one another, press one another forward into living righteously as a living sacrifice to our Lord and Savior, help one another, and love one another – and all for the glory of God.
Help us, Lord.