Sibling Rivalry and the Church

My sister is my parents’ favorite. Not ready for parenthood when I arrived, seven years later they were more settled. Amy, whose name means “beloved,” was welcomed with open arms.

Yet, when the two of us talk, she says I was the favorite.

Comparison is a killer especially between siblings. Sadly, we see it in the church between spiritual siblings too.

Who is more spiritual?

Who has experienced what?

Who prays longer?

Who serves more?

Paul discourages such talk in 1 Corinthians 12 among believers bickering over spiritual gifts.

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7 NIV)

“The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:12)

“But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:24-26)

Do you hear the call for unity? Here are some things to keep in mind:

Dad Loves All of Us

Whether we have a prayer language—or not.

Whether we have fallen, again, or are walking faithfully.

Whether we’ve been a believer for ten years—or for ten minutes.

Whether we are leading on stage or serving back in the nursery with the two-year-olds.

Family First

When it comes to spiritual gifts, God gives as He sees fit, just as parents adjust privileges to fit each child. What matters most is that everyone grows. And let’s remember, it’s His gifting and His manifestation on display, not our talents or abilities.

Holy Harmony

Just as the members of the Trinity operate in perfect harmony and unity with one another, our churches, our marriages, and our families should reflect a holy harmony too. Our unity testifies to the goodness of our God. It’s not optional.

So, if you’re feeling the stirrings of discontentment or even a little envy toward those you rub shoulders with at church, remember, sibling rivalry has no place here.

Your heavenly Dad loves you like crazy and has something special just for you. Competing for first place is silly. You’re already there.


The Corinthian church struggled because it compared spiritual giftings. What’s your struggle?

Why do you think we compare?

How do you think God feels about His children competing with one another to be the most spiritual?

Can you think of some of Jesus’ disciples who had the same issue?


Comparison is a killer especially between siblings. Click To Tweet
Sadly, spiritual siblings suffer from sibling rivalry too. Click To Tweet
It’s His gifting and His manifestation, not our talents or abilities. Click To Tweet
Dad loves you like crazy. Click To Tweet

Leave a Comment

Join Gayle

Subscribe to get my latest content by email.

We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Recent Posts