Ok, it’s 4:15am and I wake up. Time to pray. Time to read the Word. I opened up Bible gateway and came to this…
Some, it is true, [actually] preach Christ (the Messiah) [for no better reason than] out of envy and rivalry (party spirit), but others are doing so out of a loyal spirit and goodwill.
The latter [proclaim Christ] out of love, because they recognize and know that I am[providentially] put here for the defense of the good news (the Gospel).
But the former preach Christ out of a party spirit, insincerely [out of no pure motive, but thinking to annoy me], supposing they are making my bondage more bitter and my chains more galling.
(Philippians 1:15-17 AMP)
“Just wow. That’s like the villain of a novel. That is overwhelming malice. I’ll pray for you! Keep strong.”
malice = a desire to inflict injury, harm, or suffering on another, either because of a hostile impulse or out of deep-seated meanness. An evil intent on the part of a person who commits a wrongful act injurious to others.
Synonyms = ill will, spite, spitefulness; animosity, enmity; malevolence; venom, hate, hatred; bitterness, rancor. See grudge.
What does that mean to me? Have you ever had anyone slander you? Say things about you or to you to hurt you out of spite? Ever wonder, “where in the world did that come from?” I have had it happen at home, at work, at school, and even at church. Just mean, bitter words as they pull the rug out from under you.
FALSE FRIENDS, FALSE ACCUSATIONS.
Why do they do this? I believe it is the PARTY SPIRIT = that rivalry, “I’ll show you” mentality, that says “I’m gonna beat you just because I want to.”I started my search with John MacArthur and his study of Philippians 1:15. It seems when Paul was in jail, there were some that just wanted to hurt him out of spite.
“Look at it now. “Some to be sure are preaching Christ but from envy and strife,” that’s the issue. It’s their motive that messes them up. What’s another word for envy? What is it? Jealousy. It’s an ugly word, isn’t it? Ugly word. Paint it green, envy. They were jealous. Jealous of what? I’ll tell you what, Paul’s giftedness, Paul’s success. They were jealous that Paul was so beloved. They were jealous that everybody found Paul to be the touch-tone of truth. They were jealous because more people followed him than them. They were jealous because he had so eminently upon him the blessing of God. They may have been jealous of the fact that he on three occasions had encountered the living resurrected and exalted Christ personally. They were jealous, jealous of his gifts, jealous of his blessings, jealous of his ministry, jealous of his success, jealous of his high esteem. He was a menace to their prominence. He was a menace to the exaltation of their egos. He was in the seat they wanted to be in, only he was there rightly. And as a result of being jealous they created strife. The word means contention, conflict. Their jealousy pitted them against him and conflict occurred.
I have to tell you, people, it’s a sad, sad thing but that is rampant in the church, rampant today. There are people who are motivated out of jealousy and envy. They focus their whole life on trying to discredit other people who occupy some kind of place of blessing that creates envy in their sinful hearts. They preach the true gospel but they have such an impure heart. They seek to be more prominent. They are angry that someone else is more successful than they are, as an evangelist or a writer, or a pastor, or a teacher. So they are producers of rivalry, that’s another word for strife, conflict. They see themselves in competition with Paul and they become his detractors. And the way they’re going to win the battle is by slander and accusation and criticism and tearing him down.
That says it, folks. They weren’t concerned with the church, purity of doctrine, growth of the church. Nah, they just wanted to hurt him. They wanted to hurt him badly. They wanted to rip him up so they could crawl up and be on top. Thinking, it said, planning, scheming, to cause me distress, to aggravate my affliction. Speaking against him, attacking his integrity, attacking his credibility, attacking his faithfulness, attacking his character would hurt him and they wanted to hurt him.
Isn’t that sad? Isn’t it sad that the church has a way of consuming itself with that kind of trash? It does. The word “distress,” by the way, is thlipsis, basically means friction, friction. They want to just rub me till they’ve irritated me, just like chains rubbing his hands and his feet. They were adding to his chains more friction, more irritation, all from malicious treatment. Their goal wasn’t to exalt Christ. Their goal wasn’t to protect the church. Their goal wasn’t to evangelize the lost. Their goal wasn’t to defend the Word of God. Their goal was to irritate the man of whom they were jealous, that’s their goal, and pull him down in the eyes of the people so the people wouldn’t believe him and wouldn’t trust him and wouldn’t go to him. And then they would be the preeminent ones. That’s…that’s what they were all about.”
Envy (5355) (phthonos [word study]) describes pain felt and malignity conceived at the sight of excellence or happiness. It means not just wanting what another person has, but also resenting that person for having it. It is an attitude of ill-will that leads to division and strife and even murder. When we envy, we cannot bear to see the prosperity of others, because we ourselves feel continually wretched.
Ok – so what does that mean to me? In the past, I feel like all the abusive words that were spoken over me were true. Especially if they came from someone in authority. A husband, a boss, a Pastor, etc.
I took those words and I put those words in a suitcase and carried it around in my heart.
Even though those words were not true, I still carried them. And the memories of that place.
But today I acknowledged what God showed me – I did not have to carry those suitcases anymore. Those words of were not mine to carry. It wasn’t about me.
I had taken those words and let them in my heart, carried them around for years. Opened up that suitcase every so often just to beat myself up with – even if the person who said them was not even there or part of my life anymore.
Today God showed me the “WHY?”. Why does someone say those things? Deliberately and intentionally ‘kill’ and ‘murder’ us with their words. WHY do they SLANDER others? Because they had MALICE and ENVY and JEALOUSY in their hearts.
I just happened to be the one they took it out on. Wrong place, wrong guy, wrong time, wrong Pastor.
And like Paul – I don’t have to play. Again, it wasn’t about me! When I see that Party Spirit today – I put up my pretend mirror and let all the spiteful words bounce back to them. I am going to keep my joy today. They can keep their bad attitudes and spiteful words! I’ll just pray for them – and then watch what God does!!!
idk if that makes any sense, but for me – it is a weight off my shoulders as I lay those suitcases of WORDS down! They’re not mine anyway – lol!