6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: victorious living

Killer Giants or giant killers?

December 2, 2001 PM

"Killing the giant of jealosy"

1 Corinthians 3:3

The ancient Greeks told the story of a swift athlete who came in second.

He stood at the finish line, huffing and puffing as the crowd cheered --

Not for him, but for the winner.

The second-place finisher had to stand there while they brought the winner his crown and the other prizes.

He had to stand and listen to everyone else congratulate the winner.

He had to walk home hearing nothing but the name of the winner on the lips of everyone he saw.

The winner had a great statue erected in his honor - right in the center of town.

And everyday the second-place finisher had see it every time he went anywhere.

The envy and jealosy began to take charge of his mind -- and he could hardly accomplish anything day after day.

His thoughts were continually on being the loser -- not the winner.

Why wasn’t he the winner? Why had the other runner been only a split-second faster?

Soon the jealosy began to keep him up nights.

One night, unable to sleep, he slipped quietly to the town square where the statue of his opponent stood.

And he began to chip away at the stone foundation -- just a few chips each night.

But night after night he chiseled away at the foundation of that statue.

And every night that great statue got a little weaker.

Finally one night as the second-place runner was chiseling away --

The huge marble statue cracked, and then fell.

As it came down the massive stone statue fell on the second-place runner,

And its size and weight crushed him to death.

The second place runner -- killed by the image of the very man he despised so much.

It wasn’t the little chips of stone that were chiseled off each day that killed him,

It was the final weight of the jealosy of the image of the one he envied that got him.

It transformed the the soul of a proud champion into a broken, driven by jealosy, disaster.

That is the poison we call jealosy.

(1 Cor 3:3 NKJV) ..... For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?

The word there envy has a translation of "heating up" --

But the greek word picture is to "boil within".

Even if we smile on the outside -- it is possible to be so jealous or so envious that we are boiling in or hearts.

When Paul wrote this verse to the Corinthian church he was dealing with church divisions.

Some were Paul supporters, some were Apollos supporters,

And one group was jealous of the other group.

Everytime one group made some headway or did something successful the other group bad mouthed them and tried to discredit them.

We watched part of the "I love Lucy" marathon the other night -- spiritual don’t you think?

And one show had a ladies club meeting at Lucy’s apartment.

And they elected officers for the club.

First election was for treasure -- and Lucy didn’t get it.

So she turns to Ethel and says - " wouldn’t have that job if you gave it to me -- that’s a horrible position"

And Ethel looked convinced and said "oh really?"

Next was the office of secretary -- and Lucy wasn’t elected to that one either,

So she turned to Ethel and said "what a thankless job that is, I wouldn’t want that one either"

And Ethel, still looking serious and convinced, said "oh really?’"

Next they elected vice-president, and Lucy didn’t get that one either.

So she turns to Ethel and said "simply a figure-head position, never does anything, I wouldn’t want that job no matter what"

And Ethel said "oh really?"

Last they elected president -- and Lucy didn’t get that one either --

But she created a rucus and got them to nominate her anyway --

But the point is -- that’s what jealosy is like.

We tear down those we envy, or we discredit the position or the place we really wanted and felt we deserved..

There are some subtle differences between envy and jealosy -- although even in scripture they are often used interchangeably.

Envy starts out benign and subtle -- It is the standard response from the have-nots when confronted with the haves.

It’s quiet and resentful.

It discreetly rejoices over someone else’s misfortune.

Jealosy however, tends to refer to having something -- but living in fear of losing it.

It is always seeking a new or imagined rival.

Jealosy is far more cruel and coarse than envy.

The Bible tells us to rejoice with those who rejoice, and mourn with those who mourn.

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