Learning to Rejoice
Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
How good are you at celebrating other people’s victories?
It is one of the core character demands of a trustworthy leader. It is a decision we make more than one time. It is a decision that we make ahead of time so we do not get blindsided with envy or competition (which can be worse than envy).
Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were).
Jesus understood that the Pharisees were keeping score. The Pharisees understood that in both Jesus’ and John’s ministries, one of the marks of followers was being baptized. There was an outward act of an inward work that was going on. Christianity has always had that principle.
The Pharisees were keeping score and were not happy. They were betting that John would go away because he was a rough character. They were hoping that Jesus would go away, too, but that wasn’t happening. The Pharisees were uptight, tense about it.
We don’t want to be like them. We don’t want to compare ourselves to others’ ministries, based on what we see on the outside. That is a very negative thing to do. It is good to compare our vision, goals, work ethic, all those things against what the Holy Spirit is doing in other ministries, but not against other people.
He left Judea and went away again into Galilee.
Jesus’ miracle ministry is going on, and as a result, He is gathering larger crowds than John. The Pharisees are zeroing in on Him and so He withdraws to Galilee. Jesus knew His time wasn’t yet and He knew they were going to try to stop Him. He could have gone to a lot of places, but He went to the very place where He had trouble performing miracles because they did not receive Him well.
Did Jesus withdraw Himself just to get away from the Pharisees, or did He withdraw Himself to help John get more established? The Scripture doesn’t say either way. There is a discussion there that is worth having.
Under Jesus’ ministry, He had a team. It wasn’t just Him doing the baptizing, but others were as well. He was multiplying Himself, and that made the Pharisees nervous, too.
In Matthew 20, Jesus tells of the laborers in the vineyard. The labor workforce was hanging out at the corner where people hire them. Jesus agreed to give them a certain wage, and He paid them in a way that was a little different than the norm. The reaction here is key.
When those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius. When those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.’ But he answered and said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own?...
The harvest belongs to the Lord, not to us. If someone else has fruit and it’s good fruit, it’s the Lord’s fruit. If you have good fruit, it’s the Lord’s fruit.
Here we see that someone worked one hour and got paid a day’s wage and someone worked 8 hours and got paid a day’s wage. The key here is that no one got cheated.
And to those he said, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ And so they went.
If you are in the vineyard, if you are a servant of the Lord, you can know that in doing it, God will take care of you. If you are walking in the Spirit, people cannot take advantage of you. It might feel like they are, it might have the symptoms of being taken advantage of, and some of them might think they are being successful in taking advantage of you. But if you are doing it as unto the Lord, you know that your reward is coming from the Lord.
When you see people who have worked less and earned more, there are two attitudes you can have—"I should get more” or “Thank God, I know He will give me what He has promised.” In God’s economy, we are going to get where we are going, even if it feels like we are moving slower than others.
When you see people being blessed, can you genuinely rejoice with them and celebrate the fact that it is God who is blessing them, and He has enough to go around? The good thing about trusting the Lord to take care of you is that you know He will never run out. When you start feeling like you are going to be cheated, you are not trusting God. His supply of money, time, food--whatever you need--will never run out. What God promised, He will do. Learn to celebrate WITH people—that is a fragrance that is pleasing to the Lord.
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!