by Gloria Copeland
“Love is not jealous or boastful or proud.”
1 Corinthians 13:4, New Living Translation
If you want to find out more about what love really is, one way to do it is by finding out what love is not. And one thing the Scriptures clearly say is that love isn’t envious of others (1 Corinthians 13:4).
If you think envy isn’t a problem for you, I invite you to examine yourself a little closer. The Bible reveals that envy is a common, human condition. It was a problem for Cain in the book of Genesis, it was a problem for King Saul during the days of young David, it was a problem for the Jews in the book of Acts, and unless we guard against it, it will be a problem for us, too!
Envy can be defined simply as “a feeling of discontent and ill will because of another’s advantages, possessions or success.” Such feelings often sneak up on us without our notice.
We go to church rejoicing, for example, just thanking God for THE BLESSING. When we drive into the parking lot, however, we see Susie getting out of her new car. Suddenly, we’re not rejoicing quite as much. Why on earth did she get a new car? we think. Her old car was better than the one I have now! What’s more, I’ve been standing in faith for a new car and she hasn’t….
Watch out for thoughts like that. They’re warning signs of envy. If you keep thinking them, you’ll end up unhappy about another’s advantage or success. You’ll find yourself on the road of envy, and every step on that road is a step away from love.
Of course, just because you had an envious thought doesn’t mean you have envy in your heart. Those thoughts are just invitations from the devil and the flesh. They’re signals that let you know you’re being tempted to go in that direction.
So be quick to recognize those envious thoughts and resist them. Give them no place in your heart or your life. Speak words of love instead. Say, “Lord, I praise You for giving Susie that new car. I rejoice that THE BLESSING is working in her life!” Then congratulate Susie. Share in her excitement the way you’d want her to share in yours.
Stay in faith and keep walking in love. Refuse to let envy block the path of THE BLESSING, and get ready to receive every desire of your heart!
LOVE ASSIGNMENT: When was the last time you were envious of someone’s belongings or blessings or talents? As they come to mind, see the person and begin to thank God for THE BLESSING He has poured into their lives. And thank Him for all He has poured into your life, too!
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