It’s not a competition

John 4:1-3 msg

Jesus realized that the Pharisees were keeping count of the baptisms that he and John performed (although his disciples, not Jesus, did the actual baptizing). They had posted the score that Jesus was ahead, turning him and John into rivals in the eyes of the people. So Jesus left the Judean countryside and went back to Galilee.

Baptising is one of the most glorious events to be a part of whether it’s in water or the Holy Spirits baptism. But it can become easy to fall into the trap of keeping score. Salvations, healings or breakthroughs can all be tallied and counted (or at least attempted to).

But we can see the very sad thing that happens here is that the disciples decide to count their baptisms on behalf of Jesus, verses Johns baptisms, as if his were somehow not from Jesus.

The result is great division amongst the people. They are then seen as two very different teams competing against one another.

Jesus response when He becomes aware of this ‘score-keeping’ is interesting. He becomes so ticked off that He has to depart from the area altogether.

We need to make sure that we do not take any of the credit when we are doing work for the Lord and ‘do it all for the glory of God’ 1 Corinthians 10:31. It’s important that we don’t compare what God has told us to do with the work of others or one church against another. We are all one body.

If we continue with a competitive spirit the Holy Spirit will depart from our area of work very quickly just like Jesus did. We are a big team working with Jesus to ‘make disciples of all nations’.

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