“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” 2 Corinthians 3.18 [KJV]
We go from glory to glory in our spiritual lives and from faith to faith. At least, this is what God desires of us. God is in favour of growth. When observing the natural system and pattern of creation, we can see that in many ways, it reflects the Creator’s mind. His creation has a command to grow and expand. Biologists tell us today that every animal wants to reproduce and pass on its genes to the next generation (multiply), but what instilled or placed this desire in creation? Why didn’t the first cells or animals just exist and then just die out, rather than continue to multiply? The Bible tells us that God spoke to creation and commanded it to grow.
Growth and the desire to grow is imbedded into our DNA. Take for instance a tree. No one tells the tree to grow, it simply just does what its DNA has programmed it to do. In the same way, we carry a champion DNA in us, the DNA of the Father. We ought to just align our lives to God and grow. It is impossible to be born again and not grow, change or be transformed into the same image of glory of the Lord. Now, with this said, although God wants to see you grow and succeed, the same can’t be said of the enemy and others. Some people are not for you. God is for you, but some people are there to disrupt you or usurp the plan of God over your life.
“Your growth will offend the people who don’t want to change”
There are people who aren’t ready to see you grow, because they haven’t grown themselves. When a person lacks identity, your success will seem threatening. A true gauge of how confident you are in your identity in Christ is to observe how you celebrate others. When someone else achieves something that you’ve wanted, does it hurt you? How do you react when someone else got a similar job to what you were praying for, the promotion you wanted, the person you wanted to date or when you see someone else living the life that you always dreamt for yourself. So many people get frustrated and anxious by skimming through their Instagram because in many ways, they compare their lives to what others are doing. Truthfully, comparison is joy’s kryptonite. Whether it is jealousy or dislike, others may see your life as a competition. This should not be the case in the body of Christ. We should all rejoice when someone grows, when someone buys a new home, opens up a new business or gets a new car.
Be the difference in the body of Christ. Celebrate and actively support the endeavours of others. Buy their products or services, spread the news and even tell them that you admire what they are doing. The support and approval might not be reciprocal when you are growing, but do it for your own spiritual growth. We reap what we sow, and when we never support others, how can we expect the support of everyone around us when we initiate something?
Why do some people dislike my growth?
- Some are too afraid to take risks themselves. In light of their own fear of failure, they will try and discourage you from taking the types of risks that they never did. The Word of God tells us to listen to advice: “Listen to counsel and accept discipline, That you may be wise the rest of your days” (Proverbs 19:20). But what’s important is to distinguish whether the advice is coming from a counsellor or from a friend that isn’t doing anything with their lives. Counsellors can be your parents, mentors, leaders or even the role models that you follow.
- Your growth threatens their logic and it makes them face the realization that their excuses were not valid. Ultimately, what differentiates a person that is successful and someone who isn’t is that one made excuses, and the other was passionate enough to set aside the excuses. There is always an excuse that seems to justify your concerns, fears or worries, but if you really want a change in your life, set aside any lie that the enemy has placed in your mind.
- Others may be struggling with a spirit of jealousy. This is not on you, but understand fully well that not everyone around you is completely set free from their insecurities or traumas of their past. They perhaps didn’t grow up with parents and a family that gave them attention, and so anyone stealing the spotlight is a sign of aggression to them. There is so much to say on jealousy, but to be short, if you are battling with the feeling of jealousy in your life, know that we have a God that can set us free from this.
- Familiarity. This was the reason that people from Jesus’ hometown could not believe that Jesus was the Messiah or was performing miracles, signs and wonders. After all, they grew up with Jesus and saw Him grow into an adult. Likewise, maybe you know certain people too well and as soon as something goes right in their life, you might ask yourself, “THEM!?” “Really, their business is growing?” “He is prophesying and preaching?” After knowing someone for a while, you tend to see their weaknesses and when you look at them, you see them through the filter of their failures and mistakes. For this, you ought to pray that the Lord changes your heart and perspective to see them the way the Lord sees them.
Although you might say, “It’s not my problem that people have issues with my success,” as loving Christians, there are things that we can do to keep our friends from stumbling. Joseph made the mistake of sharing his dreams with everyone. Unfortunately, as we discussed, not everyone will be happy for you. Joseph’s brothers didn’t admire Joseph, they saw him as a threat. Rather than gain supporters, he gained enemies. We do this to ourselves when we become flamboyant and flashy with the call over our lives. Be careful with who you share your aspirations, visions and dreams with.
When something great happens in my life, there are certain people that I don’t share that with, because I know that they struggle or battle with pride and jealousy. Rather than rouse up their insecurities and frustrations, I instead withhold some victories from certain people. I don’t post on my social media all the material blessings that God has given me, because everyone has an opinion on that subject matter. I am a pastor’s kid and a pastor. I have heard it all, from being accused of stealing offerings to being judged for buying something nice. When I had laser eye surgery done, I still recall that someone told me, “I guess the offerings are really good” (even though that money was generated from my wife’s hard work). Not everyone is in my shoes, but I share this because I want you to realize that not everyone wants you to have the best, be the best or grow. But God loves you so much that He is excited, expectant and actively participating in your growth. While it may feel that no-one is with you, God is and who can stop God from working in your life? People never called you, so stop looking to them for approval.
At times, know that there is nothing that you can do to hide the radiance of God’s glory shining over your life. The success can be so great that you will not be able to hide it, no matter how hard you try. When the Lord’s favour is on a person, man will not be able to deny it. That will surely not be your fault. Stay humble in your heart and know that you didn’t boast yourself, but it was God himself that exalted you. On this note I finish: Haters are always gonna hate. But they are there to build your character up, and keep you humble on your journey to success.