Love does not envy
Another characteristic of Agape love is that it does not envy. It is, I think, important to keep in mind the idea that “Love” is a characteristic that we are to be known by. We never say that a person is Love and this is probably because we recognize that pure love is something that only God is. Yet, in light of the fact that the Scriptures say that “God is Love” and that we are His children, we should at least be striving to get closer to the point where someone can say “_________ (insert name) is Love” and mean it.
So when we read that Love does not envy, we understand that Love does not envy even a little bit. When you feel envy, you are, at the root of it, feeling either a covetousness or a discontent. Worse, that feeling is because of something that another person has. They have a nicer house, faster car, better paying job, more vacation time, more Bible knowledge, more of an influence, etc., etc. The list is really endless. The eye is truely never satisfied.
In sales and marketing, a sale is never made unless an underlying need or want is uncovered. Generally speaking, we buy based on want not need. Spiritually speaking, if we bought only what we needed, our lives would be less complicated and if we were satisfied with what we have, there would be no envy. Of course, Satan is a master at uncovering those wants and tempting us with them.
Jesus did not feel envy; he was content with what He had. In fact, he gave up all that he had in the Heavenly realms to come to earth and to die on our behalf. So when Satan tempted him based on hunger, pride, or desire, Jesus passed the test because He didn’t feel the lack. He had all he needed.
Contentment would eliminate a lot of sin. It would remove a lot of envy. Children fight and quarrel over things that do not matter. Adults do not. As a spiritual adult, Paul refused to partake in the envy temptations of others. In writing to the Philippians, he points to some who preach Christ “out of envy and rivalry” (Phil 1:15) and yet, his response, in spite of their desire to cause him distress was to say that if Christ is preached, he will rejoice in that. Their motives were of no interest to him.
I know some who go preach in other countries. As a visiting preacher sometimes one or two people respond the Gospel’s invitation. Rather than baptizing the ones who respond, he steps aside and lets someone there do it. He does not take, nor want, any credit and he doesn’t want others to say that they were baptized by him. Who cares who baptizes a person, it is not to the credit of the preacher, it is to the glory of God.
Paul planted, Apollos watered, God gives the increase.
When you feel envy of someone else for what they have, it is because you are not satisfied with what you have.
Question: What can you do to remind yourself to remove envy when you feel it?
Photo credit: NeoGaboX