The Plumb Line, by Jennifer LeClaire

Want to receive The Plumb Line by email? Sign up here
Pouting girl
Jealousy doesn’t win promotions. (Stock.xchng)

Jennifer LeClaire is now sharing her reflections and revelations through Walking in the Spirit. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.


Whether in the world of work or the work of the ministry, everybody likes to feel appreciated for a job well done. But some strive, scratch and claw for promotion.

There’s nothing fundamentally wrong about hoping God notices your faithfulness, increases your territory, and gives you greater works to steward. But striving for promotion can breed all manner of discord in a church—or in our own hearts.

Nowhere does this manifest more than when someone is overlooked for a promotion they feel they deserve. Maybe it’s a management position in the marketplace or a preaching opportunity in the pulpit—or some other public recognition they’ve been working for. Regardless of the circumstance, our true character is on display when we feel like God has overlooked us for a promotion.

Jealousy Doesn’t Win Promotions

When God told Samuel to anoint a new king, he went to visit Jesse the Bethlehemite and his sons. Israel’s next king was among them. Samuel thought Eliab was the chosen vessel, but God told him, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7).

Each of Jesse’s seven elder sons passed before Samuel but the Lord didn’t choose any of them. Finally, the prophet asked Jesse if he had another son. When David emerged from tending the sheep the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” So Samuel anointed him in the midst of his brothers (see 1 Sam. 16:12-13).

Why was Eliab overlooked for the promotion? You would think the firstborn would be the most deserving, naturally speaking. But God looked at the heart and there was something there he didn’t like. I believe in Eliab’s case it was jealousy, and we actually see its ugly head rearing on the battle line. When David heard about Saul’s magnanimous promise to the Israelite who defeated Goliath, his ears perked up and he asked some of the soldiers to confirm the reward.

“Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, ‘Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle’” (1 Sam. 17:28). Could it be possible that Eliab was angry that David was anointed king because he felt like he was more deserving? Was Eliab jealous?

Let’s not forget Joseph. Already his father’s favorite and donning a coat of many colors, this young one had dreams that symbolically revealed his brothers bowing down to him (Gen. 37:1-10). That didn’t go over too well among his brethren, who were already jealous about his special coat and favorite status with dad. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery and told his father Jacob that he wild beasts devoured him. Joseph suffered much but God promoted him time and time again. His jealous brothers did indeed bow down to him, just as he dreamt it. But Joseph and the entire family suffered plenty before peace was restored.

Staying In One Accord

By contrast, even before the Holy Spirit fell on the Day of Pentecost, believers in the early church refused to allow jealousy to distract them from their mission. Since Judas betrayed the Lord and committed suicide, Peter pointed out Scripture that a new witness to Jesus’ resurrection must be appointed. Two men were proposed: Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias (Acts 1:1:23).

“And they prayed and said, ‘You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.’ And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles” (Acts 1:24-26).

We don’t see Justus getting jealous, making false accusations against Matthias or throwing him in a deep well to die. Justus didn’t pitch a hissy fit to the other disciples or seek to prove why he was better suited for the promotion. He didn’t breed strife in the early church. In fact, the Bible says when the Day of Pentecost came they were all with one accord in one place (Acts 2:1).

Justus didn’t storm of out the Upper Room and spread rumors about the apostles. No, he went on to receive the Holy Spirit in the Pentecostal outpouring and it appears he may have gone on to work with the apostle Paul and Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (Col. 4:10-11). Whether that’s the same Justus or not, only the Lord knows. But somehow I believe Justus, of whom the disciples thought to select him as one of the two candidates to become an apostle, went on to do great things for the Kingdom of God in his humility. And if you respond in humility when someone else gets the promotion you want, so can you. Amen.

Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including The Spiritual Warrior's Guide to Defeating Jezebel. You can email Jennifer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Did you enjoy this blog? Click here to receive it by email.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • Cindy Jacobs

    2017: Year of the Breakthrough

    "There will be a significant increase in miracles and signs and wonders."

  • Are you willing to volunteer for God's offensive army?

    Prophetic Word: Preparing for God's World War 3

    God is searching for soldiers of the cross who are willing to volunteer for His offensive army.

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Growing relationship

    2017 Prophetic Word: The Supernatural Key to Growing Your Relationship With God

    It's vital that we understand what comes from God and what comes from the devil.

  • Marriage man and woman

    Why Marriage Is Not Just Between a Man and a Woman

    Marriage is a miracle. Let us treat it like one.

  • Be encouraged to slow down to hear God in unexpected ways.

    A Common Reason You May Be Missing God's Voice

    Out of thousands of people, only six didn't fall into one experiment's trap. Discover how ...

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit