“When Priscilla and Aquila heard him
preaching boldly in the synagogue,
they took him aside and explained
the way of God more accurately.”
We went to this really great concert a couple months back. I didn’t know a whole ton about the band we were going to see so I went into it with very few expectations and was totally blown away! They had all right sounds, all the right words, all the right images, all the right looks; they completely rocked. I remember sitting there watching them perform and having this really excited feeling in my chest about what I was hearing and seeing!
But it only lasted a moment.
Almost instantly, another set of emotions crept into my heart. Jealousy. Fear. Insecurity. Disappointment. I have a band, too. My band plays the same genre as this band. My band definitely isn’t as good as this band. If people had to choose between them and us, they would definitely choose them. My head started telling me that the only conclusion I could draw from this experience was that they were great and that, therefore, meant I was not.
And the next thought was to ask myself why on earth I should continue putting effort into a project when I can only be second best.
All these complicated emotions were still swirling weeks later when I read Acts 18. In Acts 18, a man named Apollos showed up in Ephesus to teach people about God. Acts 18:23-26 say he was “an eloquent speaker” and “had been taught the way of the Lord and talked to others with great enthusiasm and accuracy about Jesus” and that he preached boldly.
Now, the two resident missionaries – husband and wife duo Priscilla and Aquila – could have had the same reaction I had in my little musical pity party. They could have witnessed this charismatic preacher and said to themselves “AWE MAN!!!! We can’t talk with enthusiasm and eloquence like that dude! We suck. We should probably try another profession.” BUT THEY DIDN’T.
- V. 26 “… they took him aside and explained the way of God more accurately.” They privately, respectfully corrected him rather than tear him down publicly or spread gossip about his shortcoming behind his back.
- V. 27 “Apollos had been thinking about going to Achaia, and the Christians in Ephesus encouraged him in this. They wrote to the believers in Achaia, asking them to welcome him.” They found ways to GROW his opportunities so he could do more of what God gave him the talent to do rather than attempt to steal all the opportunities for themselves.
When I see someone who is gifted in an ability, do I seek ways to add value to him/her/them? Or do I give in to my insecurities and look for ways to bolster myself at their expense?
There are so many opportunities in the world that – as much as reality tv and sports would like you to believe it – there is not just ONE #1 SPOT for abilities. God created each of us with a purpose. Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Each of us hold value and carry purpose. We can stop listening to the voices of insecurity, fear, jealousy, and doubt. We can encourage, uplift, and celebrate each other as we witness God using each of us to live out his plan to love and save all mankind!
Prayer: Dear Lord, I’m sorry for all the times that I let my insecurities and fears take my focus off of you and your promises. Please help me remember to build up those around me and take every opportunity to encourage rather than to tear down. Help us all to celebrate your good works in our lives more and more each day! Amen.