Combatting Envy

I Corinthians 13-4-7 4Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.  5It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].  6It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.  7Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. 8Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].

Love is never envious or jealous. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:3  For you are still [unspiritual, having the nature] of the flesh [under the control of ordinary impulses]. For as long as [there are] envying and jealousy and wrangling and factions among you, are you not unspiritual and of the flesh, behaving yourselves after a human standard and like mere (unchanged) men? 2 Corinthians 2:17 tells us Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come! If we have the new nature of Christ in us we don’t have to be jealous or envious.

Being envious is, wanting to have somebody else’s success, good fortune, qualities, or possessions. Jealousy is pretty much the same thing except it goes a little further. It means to feel bitter or unhappy of another’s advantages, possessions, feeling suspicious of another’s influence, or being possessively watchful of something. Generally feelings of jealousy stem not from what someone else has, but rather what we don’t have. To combat envy and jealousy we can always look to the Word. If we are wishing that we had the material possessions of another, we can meditate on Philippians 4:11-12  11… for I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am. 12I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want. Focusing on, and being thankful for what we do have instead of what we don’t have is a great way to not allow envy in our lives. Today I challenge you to take the time to count the blessings in your life. Think about all of the good things you have and thank God for providing for your needs.

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