“A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” 1 Corinthians 12:7
We are all on the same team if our goal is to glorify God, so why do we act as if this is a competition? Our culture encourages us to compete and compare, God does not. If we look under the ugly rock of competing in ministry, we either find sinful pride slithering there or the creepy crawling of jealousy. Both focus on self, not serving. Where, then, does God come into focus? He should be all we are thinking about and serving the best we can.
God gifted each of us to build up the body of Christ, not our own reputations. We are fellow laborers, not contestants. If we can help further develop someone else’s gift to make them shine brighter for Christ, we should not hoard what God has given us since the gift was never about us in the first place. Competition in the body of Christ shortchanges the ones we are called to serve. Why would any of us want to dim someone else’s light just so ours outshines theirs? Nothing about that looks anything like Jesus.
God has this gifting thing beautifully rigged so that we only win when we share. The needs of the world are big enough for all of us to find a dark place to shine. Throwing all of our gifts together makes a bigger bonfire of glory to God than our individual ones ever could.
Let us examine our hearts: “Lord, give us a generous spirit in working together in the beautiful partnership of ministry. Search us, O God, root out any hoarding, jealousy, and competing. Forgive us for turning your church into a corporation. Renew a right spirit within us and let our iron sharpen someone else’s iron so we both are sharper tools of sharing in your powerful hands. Amen. “