Envy: a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions, etc. ill will.
Love does not envy! This is an interesting statement. I always try to look at the Word as a mirror. What is it reflecting or pointing out in my life? I was a bit stumped as I looked at envy, thinking I don’t feel like I envy or covet others’ things but then I looked at the dictionary definition and the other words for envy; discontent with regards to others’ success or possessions or even ill will towards them.
Now that hits a little closer to home. How often are we discontent with what we have, where we are, what we are doing or even who we are? If someone offends us do we wish them ill will or despise them being blessed in some way or for succeeding to a greater degree than us? How many times have I sat watching as others seem to have their lives together while I seem to be struggling in so many different ways or watch as someone is more successful and feel like a failure? How many times do I look in a mirror and despise parts of my body?
I remember discussing with a group of ladies about how we are to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. The general consensus was that it is sometimes easier to weep with people then to rejoice with them! Interesting thought! Is that because we find ourselves secretly envying the good things happening to others?
It’s a challenge when we look at it. Love doesn’t do that. It believes the best of people even when we think or are sure they mean differently and are intending to be nasty or even evil!
We know we are not walking in love when we allow envy to rise up.
An interesting phenomenon happened this week to my daughter’s car. We have a beautiful red bird here in Virginia called a Cardinal. The males are brilliant red with a cap like the cardinals of the Catholic Church. They are nearly always in pairs, male and female and are fairly territorial. This one took to Naomi’s little mini in the mirror, attacking it and becoming very distressed as the attack of the mirror continued. This morning it is taking on the other vehicle in the yard! Strange behavior!
Just as I was thinking about envy, I was told about the new attack and reflected that perhaps he was attacking a perceived enemy. He didn’t want anyone on his territory trying to take his mate from him! So many times we can react toward someone not in love but with ill will or anger, out of a motive of trying to protect others or ourselves. However, really we are only looking at our own reflection; perhaps seeing what is really some area of weakness within us.
Let us determine to throw off envy and walk in perfect love. Ask for God to pinpoint areas where it might be a weakness and give you wisdom and strength to overcome it.
This is the time to put off the old man of envy, and strife, feelings of ill will, insecurity and wrong perceptions. Thankfulness is a great combatant to envy; being thankful and verbalizing it. Thankful for everything that you have, are and are doing. Thankful for the success of others, and thankful for those who have said all manner of evil against you or harmed you!
Look to the Word as your mirror not your own reflection! I know I am freshly challenged!
Until next time!