This is what the Lord says:
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.
You belong to God! God has created you for a special purpose for this time! You don’t have to claim to be someone you’re not. Rejoice at the position and abilities God has gifted you with. They are an honor bestowed on you from heaven. Be careful not to treat them with dishonor, unworthily or ungratefully. Be careful not to fall into the snare of being jealous of the promotion or recognition of others.
Your identity comes from knowing that you are God’s child because you have put your faith in God. Your identity doesn’t come from people’s approval or praise. Knowing that your identity is anchored in being God’s child you don’t need to manipulate or control people. Instead, as God’s child you can set people free to live the way God has created them in the position God has placed them.
There is only one thing that you can boast in with confidence. You can boast with confidence that the Lord, God exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on the earth (Jer 9:24). Whether someone increases in importance or decreases in importance in your workplace doesn’t change God’s character one iota. God is still your Savior. God is still the one who called you, who loves you, who restores you, who saves you, who revives you! The only one that keeps all things together is God! God is the fountain of everlasting joy!
Shortly after baptising Jesus, some of John the Baptist’s disciples came to him and complained about the fact that Jesus was now more popular than John. Now, if there was anybody who should have been jealous it was John of whom it was said “among those born of women, none has arisen greater than John the Baptist” (Luke 7:28). It would have been easy for John to take advantage of the fact that some people mistook him to be the Messiah. Instead John wanting nothing more than to know the love of his Master, listened to their report with great satisfaction. Their report about Jesus increasing filled John with great joy. John could rejoice as his position in society decreased because he knew his labor had not been in vain. John’s joy was anchored in the solid foundation of God’s love for him.
No matter how your position in society changes, or who is being promoted around you, you just have to be the best you, you can be. This doesn’t mean that you can rest on your laurels. Far from it! You need to continue to hone the skills God has given you, so that you can continue to be a blessing and serve your Lord to the best of your abilities. Sometimes the best you, you can be is to celebrate another person’s success. When you decrease, you can decrease with joy knowing that your life is anchored in the solid foundation of God’s love for you.
Your job, your income, your possessions, your colleagues, even your next breath are all gifts from God. Gifts which none of us deserve. Everything belongs to the Lord, and the Lord has the sovereign right to exalt whom He chooses, or to take authority away from whom He chooses. Knowing this, you can be satisfied with the position that God has blessed you with.
You can celebrate your colleagues’ success because you know that God is the source of their skills, and abilities. God has placed them exactly where they are today. As one who has put their faith in God, you can decrease joyfully, trusting that God has not made a mistake, and that God’s Kingdom purposes will prevail.
It is easy to rejoice and celebrate the success of a colleague who deserves a promotion. It is easy to be delighted when a colleague receives their well-deserved recognition for a job well done.
But then there are those times when it is hard to rejoice and celebrate someone’s success. We experience emotional pain when we have done all the heavy lifting and then find ourselves on the sidelines while somebody else receives the accolades for our work. Pride rears its ugly face after we have invested time and energy in someone’s life and then watch them experiencing opportunities that were never available to us. Our hearts are broken for the trail of battered and bruised bodies left behind as we watch someone cheat and walk all over other people as they scale the corporate ladder. It is at those moments when the clay wants to cry out to the potter “What are you doing?” It is at those moments when we hear the potter say to us, “my child, whom I love, rejoice that your name is written in heaven!” It is at those moments that our Father invites us to drink deeply from his fountain of eternal joy.
Knowing that the Lord your God exercises kindness, justice and righteousness you can decrease joyfully.
Gracious Father thank you for the kindness, justice, and righteousness you have shown me. Thank you for all that I have, and all that I am able to do. Thank you for what I am not able to do. Fill me with your joy today. Amen.