Envy=desire to have a quality, possession, or other desirable thing belonging to someone else.
Envy is one of those characteristics that you don’t quite know is bothering you until it is eating savagely away at you. Envy creeps up on you. You might find someone annoying or think less of them and when you dig deep into yourself you realise it’s because you envy them. Or you resent someone else’s situation in life and find yourself justifying your jealous thoughts. ‘Love doesn’t envy’ means we might appreciate what someone else has or is, but we don’t build up resentment towards them. Jealousy: the harsher word for envy enters in rather sweetly then becomes something that is horrible and makes you nasty.
Many years ago I found out I’d not done too well in my A-level exams. I had worked very hard, but it seemed to no avail. I didn’t get into teacher training college and I was pretty cut up. I did however venture onto other things and life has carried on rather well; through it all I knew God was in control. There are times though when I do think “If only I could’ve got good grades like him/her I could be in a great job now” or “If only I’d realised I wasn’t academic I could’ve got on with my life in this way like they have”. It’s not pure jealousy I admit, but it’s an envious attitude that really is saying “God, you didn’t know what you were doing way back in 1997 with my A-level grades did you?” When actually the day I did get my horrendous grades I knew this was all part of Gods plan for me. I needed to trust Him and lean on His ways, not mine.
Jesus had no need to envy anyone or want anything, He is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, but he was also the humblest of servants. He had everything, yet gave it all up to become a mere man. He left his royalty to die on a cross. Yet there must have been moments in his life on earth when he was tempted to be envious, he didn’t give in though. Unlike Jesus, it’s easier for us to give in to envy, but we can ask Jesus to help us combat envious feelings or thoughts. I often find if I’m feeling envious, I just need to look at my heart, ask myself why and talk to God about it and possibly even pray more blessing over the person or whatever they have that is making me envious.
I do get jealous of other people and what they have, but I have to remind myself of who I am in God and what He’s done in my life. This isn’t merely about my grades anymore, but everyday thoughts and attitudes that creep in. If you are saying to yourself “I don’t like this person” or “Why on earth do they spend their money so carelessly” ask yourself if you’re being envious or jealous. You might not be, but love doesn’t envy. Envy is clearly a sinful attitude that very easily entertains our hearts. Root yourself in God’s love.