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Jealousy, Envy, Insecurity and the Heart of a Pastor

But that’s no excuse to keep our motivation poor.

Theodore Roosevelt was right, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

If envy is the dark underbelly of your ambition, it will never create the kind of love, joy or peace that well-motivated ambition does, in you or your church.

You will always feel less. Nothing will ever be enough. And you will listen less to God and more to others.

And it steals much more than that, especially in the church.

And my guess is the people you lead will always suspect that something is ‘off,’ even if they can’t put their finger on what it is.

2. Jealousy Fuels Potshots and Criticism

You ever find yourself dismissing someone else’s accomplishments, or being constantly critical of what they’re doing?

Look inside.

Often, that’s jealousy.

If you have a constant string of negative thoughts and words about other people, that may be a sign that you have some confessing to do (see below).

People want to be led by a leader who can celebrate the success of others.

Never build yourself up by tearing others down.

3. Insecurity Creates an Unstable Foundation

Most of us come by our insecurity honestly. It’s not that we feel too good about ourselves. It’s that we feel too badly.

Of course, that’s a spiritual issue. The truth of the Gospel, to paraphrase Tim Keller, is that our situation is far worse than we ever imagined, and God loves us far more deeply than we ever dreamed.

It’s not that either is true; both are. The truth of our sin is brutal, and the love of God runs deeper than any of that.

If you don’t deal with your insecurity, you build an unstable foundation for both your life and your leadership.

Insecurity makes your emotions rise with every success and plummet with every failure.

If you anchor your security in Christ and what he’s done for you, you end up being not so fickle. And neither does your church.

You can withstand the storms because you know you’re not nearly as bad as your last failure or as amazing as your last success.

And you were loved through all of it.

That’s a far more secure foundation.

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Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.