I love meeting passionate Christians who love God so much that you see it in their understanding of scripture and drive to share the good news...but I recently noticed that although I loved meeting them, I often failed at loving them freely, as people. That was when God showed me that I suffered from the 'Holy Green Eye'.
In Mark 9:38-41, we see John complaining to Jesus about a man (who was not one of Jesus' disciples) driving out demons in the name of Jesus. Why does John complain? He gets the 'Holy Green Eye'. Earlier on in the chapter we see that a man complains to Jesus that His disciples couldn't drive the demon out of his son, so it is no surprise that the disciples were a bit jealous of this other man, who was not one of them, performing such signs! I don't know about you, but I can definitely relate! Here comes the best bit, Jesus' response, "Do not stop him, for no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me. For whoever is not against us, is for us."
"For whoever is not against us, is for us" - these words echo in my head every time I'm on the verge of contracting this spiritual illness!
Romans 12:4-6 - 'For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly...'
Do they have a better understanding of God's word? Continue spending time with Him, and you too will get there.
So they speak in tongues! So they lead worship! So they're well read! So they're eloquent! So they're outgoing! So what!
Just because you are not like them, doesn't mean you are useless! We're all given different gifts, called on different journeys, each specifically designed for us and the people in our lives. It is wrong to compare our spirituality and our gifts with others. We might serve differently, but we're part of the same team, trying to achieve the same goal: pointing people to Christ!
Our Christian life isn't a competition. That is a concept alien to my Asian blood! God loves us all, and we have done nothing to earn that love. Instead of fighting for God's favour (which by the way, you already have!) cheer other Christians on, spur them on to serve better, be inspired and challenged by their lives - as wise King Solomon states in Proverbs 27:17, sharpen each other like 'iron sharpens iron'.
Our gifts, or level of Christian maturity do not define our usefulness to God; all He seeks is a willing heart. He qualifies the unqualified! Therefore, the next time you sense yourself developing that 'Holy Green Eye', remember Jesus' words, "For whoever is not against us, is for us".