“But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” James 4:14-16
Well if this scripture didn’t hit me like a ton of bricks, I don’t know what will. Envy, jealousy, selfishness – all the exact opposites of my Word, sacrifice. All issues I have or am still struggling with. And the Bible calls them earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. Can you say conviction?
As a blogger, writer, speaker, Bible study leader – it is easy to have selfish motives. In fact, ministry is one of the best places to hide selfish motives of fame and mask them as Holy. How do I know? Because I have been there.
As my blog began to gain followers, visions of a Beth Mooore-ish ministry popped in my head. Everyone would know my name. I would be famous if I just worked hard enough, made the right connections, and learned the industry. It’s sick, really, when you think about it. Seeking my own glory while touting the name of Jesus. And I didn’t even realize I was doing it until The Lord yanked me back. He pulled me back from ministry just long enough to show me my sin.
And you know the amazing thing about The Lord is that He forgives. He didn’t ban me from ministry because selfishness was getting the best of me. He simply pulled me home, led me to repentance, and beckoned my heart towards action.
And part of that action is sacrifice. It is the bare, raw, basting of myself in sacrificial-daily-action based practices.
It’s what I must do. I must make choices to not only write about and speak about His Word, but act upon it. And what acting upon it looks like has changed. Acting in sacrifice for me is not a speaking engagement or working on a book proposal – it is cooking dinner for a friend or helping an elderly woman or homeless child with menial everyday tasks. These are my sacrifices of praise. Thanksgiving to the God who has afforded me infinite blessings.
It’s day 3 of 30 days of sacrifice…already my heart is changing. Obedience is shaping and untwisting the selfish wrinkles of sin that mask dark places in my heart. It brings with it rejuvenation, light, and blessings. And yet battle has just begun.
Jealous, self serving envy is bound to creep its ugly head up a few more times before getting squashed. But The Lord is faithful. He has won. I will fight with Him and we will win. Sacrificing all the while.