OCTOBER 03, 2021



“A bridegroom’s friend rejoices with him. I am the bridegroom’s friend, and I am filled with joy at his success” (John 3:29 New Living Translation).

John the Baptist didn’t feel sad at the news of the success of Jesus. He reacted positively when he was told that Jesus was also baptizing.

Jesus was doing what John had been doing before He came to John to baptize Him. John’s disciples added, “Everyone is going to him instead of coming to us” (verse 26).

Hear John’s reply: “God in heaven appoints each person’s work. You yourselves know how plainly I told you that I am not the Messiah. I am here to prepare the way for him – that is all. The bride will go where the bridegroom is. A bridegroom’s friend rejoices with him. I am the bridegroom’s friend, and I am filled with joy at his success. He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less” (John 3:27-30 New Living Translation).

Please, take note of what John said in verse 29, “A bridegroom’s friend rejoices with him. I am the bridegroom’s friend, and I am filled with joy at his success” (New Living Translation). Are you filled with joy at the success of others or with envy?

As a pastor, if some people who are with you now decide to follow another pastor you know, will you be filled with joy at his success?  This applies to everybody, too, not pastors alone. Two of John’s disciples defected later, to follow Jesus (John 1:35-37, 40). If another person begins to get people’s attention more than you, will you be filled with joy or be filled with livid anger and jealousy?

Remember, as John told his disciples, no man can get anything unless God gives him from heaven (John 3:27). If it’s not of God, it shall not stand. If it’s all human arrangement, it shall not last. If it is of the devil, it shall eventually scatter, no matter how long (John 5:34-39).

Rejoice at the success of others. Don’t wish them evil. Whatever you sow, that’s what you’ll reap (Galatians 6:7). Don’t live your life in competition with anyone. Those who compare themselves with others are not wise (2 Corinthians 10:12).

Christians should complement, and not compete with each other. They should support and encourage others to succeed, and not work for their failure. Thank God for John’s understanding of his divine assignment and Jesus’ assignment. Otherwise, John’s disciples would have created unnecessary acrimony between the two of them.

Leaders must be careful and not allow their followers to cause disaffection between or among them because of their perception of the success of their assignments. Ultimately, it is God who will mark everybody’s scripts, and determine how each person has fared. In fact, He knows this already!

Thank God for what He has done for you and through you. Don’t be sad because of anyone’s success; be filled with joy. Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (New King James Version).

Nobody’s success can stop your own. Nobody’s promotion can replace yours. Don’t hate the positive things that are making others rejoice. Whatever you love, you attract to your life.

Cain couldn’t rejoice with his brother, Abel, for his success. He killed him because God accepted Abel and his sacrifice, but didn’t accept him and his sacrifice (Genesis 4:3-8). Did killing Abel make him acceptable to God? (Verses 10-15).

Proverbs 27:4 says anger is destructive – who is able to stand before jealousy? Don’t allow it. It may consume the person you’re jealous of, but it won’t spare you.

What to Do?

1. Have good thoughts towards others. Wish them well. Pray for them. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things” (New King James Version).

Job had to obey God to pray for his friends, who had vilified him during his trials before God restored his losses. “And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10 New King James Version). He paid their evil back with good.

1 Timothy 2:1 says that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men. According to Ephesians 6:18, believers should pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit; being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.

2. Avoid competition and comparison. Stay in your lane. Let not your motivation for success be envy. Ecclesiastes 4:4 says, “Then I observed that most people are motivated to success by their envy of their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless, like chasing the wind” (New Living Translation).

There is no point competing with others or comparing yourself with anyone. Paul says in Galatians 6:4, “Be sure to do what you should, for then you will enjoy the personal satisfaction of having done your work well, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else” (New Living Translation).

Paul advises again, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4 New King James Version).

3. Give more honour to others than yourself. Philippians 2:3b says in lowliness of mind, each believer should esteem others better than himself. If everyone practises this, everyone will be highly esteemed!

Don’t have a superiority complex. That’s what makes people feel that they’re the only ones that deserve to succeed and not someone else or deserve to be selected for something good and not any other person. Why only you? Why not another person?

That was Haman’s problem. The king asked him to suggest a great way he (the king) could honour the person that he delighted to honour. He thought he was the person the king wanted to honour. He couldn’t imagine that it would be another person.

He was devastated when he later discovered that he had suggested a great way to honour his enemy, Mordecai!  He was later humiliated when the king asked him to decorate Mordecai with the honour he had suggested and lead him through the city square, announcing Mordecai’s honour by the king (Esther 6:1-13).

Don’t be a Diotrephes, who loved to be the leader, and never acknowledged authority (3 John 9).

4. Sincerely congratulate others on their success. Don’t wish it were you. There is a season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3). There’s a season for everyone. Don’t go into needless prayer and fasting out of envy. God sees your heart. There’s a time for feasting and there’s a time for fasting!

Saul should have congratulated David for killing Goliath, as those women did, singing his praises. Instead, he focused more on the comparison of both of them the women made and became envious of a boy, who had saved him from national embarrassment! (1 Samuel 18:6-9).

5. Thank God for what He has done for you, keep doing your best and wait for your season. The latter part of Colossians 3:15 says you should be thankful.

Verse 17 also talks about giving thanks to God. Colossians 4:2 says, “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving” (New King James Version). Give thanksgiving top priority in your life. It will protect you from envy or jealousy.

Give thanks in all circumstances. “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 New King James Version).

Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (New King James Version).

As you thank God, keep doing your best in your business, academics, ministry or any other pursuit. Put in your best as you run your own race, not another person’s race. The LORD shall crown your efforts with success.

Here is the summary: walk in agape love, God’s kind of love, towards others. This is a love that is mainly of the will, not of emotions. Love is the fulfilment of the law (Romans 13:10b).


If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINT: Father, I repent of envy/jealousy. Help me Lord to work for the success of others and celebrate them. I will rejoice at the success of others; I will not be envious.

(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit

T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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