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Jealousy, Envy, Insecurity and the Heart of a Pastor

Five Disciplines That Will Kill Envy, Jealousy and Insecurity

So how do you move past envy, jealousy and insecurity?

Fundamentally, I think it’s a spiritual thing. Years of prayer, scripture, counseling and even some coaching is helping me move through mine.

But there are also five disciplines that, over the years have helped.

If you want to kill envy, jealousy and insecurity, try these.

1.  Be Generous With Your Praise

This might sound trivial, but it’s not. Insecure people are often jealous people.

One of the best ways to combat jealousy is to privately and publicly commend and compliment others. Especially if you don’t feel like it.

If you’re afraid of building others up because you think it might diminish you in some way, that’s the perfect time to do it.

Don’t remain silent. Don’t give them a back-handed compliment (it’s about time he did something good) and don’t qualify the praise (it was pretty good given her track record).

Publicly celebrating the success of others will move you much closer to what Jesus was talking about when he commanded us to love enemies and people who persecute us.

Strangely, most of the people you don’t want to compliment aren’t close to being enemies. So in those moments when others make a difference (there are many), smile and acknowledge it: privately and publicly. Be generous with your praise.

2. Recruit and Promote People Who Are Better Than You

I had to wrestle this one down a number of years ago as we added staff and key volunteers. I had to hire people who were better than me at so many things.

In fact, I’m only ‘best at’ a few things in our organization right now. My goal is to continue to give as much of even that away as I can.

Another way I had to deal with this head on is when we started Connexus Church as a strategic partner of North Point Ministries. That means when I’m not teaching, Andy Stanley is. If you really want to wrestle down insecurity, just put the most gifted communicator around on the screen when you are not teaching.

It will teach you quite quickly to celebrate what others are amazing at and to be content with the role you also get to play.

3.  Give Thanks for Who You Are Instead of Lamenting Over Who You Aren’t

At the root of much insecurity are two beliefs. First, that God somehow got it wrong when he was creating you. And second, that you need to compensate for this.

That’s why insecure people are jealous or resentful of others and why we somehow feel we need to ‘right’ the situation by withholding praise, refusing to hire or recruit better people because it might make us look bad, and trying to control things so they work out in our favor.

Why not start each day thanking God for how he created you?

Why not say, “God, you have given me everything I need to accomplish what you’ve asked me to accomplish and you’ve given others exactly what they need to accomplish their mission”?

That shift will also help you relinquish your controlling tendencies.

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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.