Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Love Does Not Envy

4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;6it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8Love never ends.

Love does not Envy.

defines Envy this way:
: painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage

So in other words... envy is wanting what someone else has in a less than positive way.

Just what does that mean in practical living? And what does that mean for me?

I have to admit, I have a hard time seeing this is me... envy. I tend to let others have what they have and not worry about it. Are there things I see that other people have and go...yeah, I'd like to have that. But is that in a nasty way? No. It's just that I have goals, I'd like to have them met, but I'm not going to resent that someone else has what I want. Is wishing you had something the same thing as envy? Without the negative emotions attached I don't think so. Now...when it turns into resentment that God hasn't let you have what you wish for, or anger that it's not yours, then I think it's envy...and therefore not what God wants from us.

And maybe I'm deluding myself, but this is generally not an area that I struggle with.

So where does envy crop up in the bible?
Cain killed Abel over resentment and envy.
Saul killed David over resentment and envy.
Joseph sold into slavery over resentment and envy.

But we are NOT to be envious, the bible has plenty of exhortations about it.

Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways, for the Lord detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence.
< - Proverbs 3:31-32

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.
- Proverbs 14:30 -

It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do it in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the Gospel.
- Philipians 1:15-16 -

But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.
- James 3:14 -

For where you have envy or selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
- James 3:16 -

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocracy, envy, and slander of every kind.
- 1 Peter 2:1 -

Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
- Galatians 5:26 -

Envy can turn us into someone that we don't want to be.
Let us guard our hearts and minds so that we are protected from this dangerous thought pattern.

Previous in this series
These words keep running through my head..
Love is patient.
Love is kind.

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