"You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. James 4:2-3"
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 "
LISTEN TO: Vashawn Mitchell, "Nobody Greater" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyRv-tbGJ1Y
As part of our 2019 resolution to become more Christ-like, we continue our walk through Paul's inspired passage on love from his first letter to the Corinthians. Paul breaks down for us what Love does, just as Jesus models for us in his actions and teachings how love acts and reacts in the world.
Paul now tells us what love is NOT. Love is not envious.
In envy you want what you never had. In jealousy, you are threatened with the loss of something you have (or thought you had). Envy is a two-person emotion; I want what you have. Jealousy is the three-person love triangle, I want who you have. Jealousy can also mean "watchful, " "anxiously suspicious, " "zealous, " or "expecting complete devotion." The last is normally applied to God.
We all feel envious or jealous occasionally. That's normal. But holding on to the feeling of envy/jealousy is a serious problem. If we don’t let go of envy it causes us to be bitter and resentful, potentially disrupting relationships.
Envy (and jealousy) is often associated with the color green and is portrayed as 'the green-eyed monster'. Green is a color associated with sickness and the skin of people turns yellow or green tinge when they are seriously ill. Even the color of many unripe fruits are yellow or green. Have you ever tasted a green banana? Ugh! In the ancient Greek theory of medicine, which long governed medical treatment, Envy (and jealousy) was considered to result in an excess of bile, which would give a pale-greenish cast to the skin. This idea remained popular for centuries. It famously appears in Shakespeare’s "Othello," when Lago refers to jealousy (envy) as a "green-eyed" monster. Shakespeare, in the “Merchant of Venice”, denoted how jealously could destroy life.
No wonder God wanted us to take envy seriously when he gave the Ten Commandments. Envy, unchecked, ruptures relationships and community.
“You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.” (Ex. 20: 1-17; Deut. 5:4-21)
The nasty bile of envy (jealousy) also eats away at our spirits. It destroys our peace of mind. Envy is a spiritual cancer: “A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones” (Proverbs 14:30).
We can be envious of many things. The beautiful house a neighbor has. The fine clothing and style of another. The intelligence and wit of a friend. Bank accounts. Travel exploits. Professional accomplishments. That your friend’s kid got into a better preschool (or college) than yours. The list can go on. Once we give Envy a foothold, it will find more and more things to feel dissatisfied about. Envy’s aim is to turn us into that nasty greenish bile, that people around us can “spiritually taste” and feel – and flee from. This is not God’s will for us!!
What can we do to conquer envy (jealousy)?
1. Count your blessings: Everyday. Every hour, if you have to. Health, The home you live in, the fact that you can afford three square meals a day. What you have overcome. Family. Friends. Be present to what you have rather than living in another "might have" world. (“But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. .” Ephesians 5:3-4)
2. Learn to be at peace with yourself: If you live in the Western world, chances are that you are better off than everyone except royalty was even a hundred years ago. You've got access to exotic foods that even kings and queens would never have seen as recently as a century ago. You don't have to grow your own food or physically battle with others to keep your human rights. Be grateful about this! So keep the focus on yourself, where you have come from, and not on comparing yourself to other’s journey (“Submit to God and be at peace with him, in this way prosperity will come to you” Job 22:21)
3. Turn the envy around: When your feeling envy, learn to give thanks for the people or circumstances you envy. Remember God promises to meet your needs: … (You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. Phil 4:19-20): So keep your focus always on God, and not on what others have. In everything give thanks.
4. Do an envy inventory. If you find yourself caught, seek help from a mature believer, and in prayer:
Do you congratulate those who succeed?
· Do you feel good, bad or neutral about such people?
· Do you worry that you may look bad in comparison?
· Do you find yourself obsessing about another person's success?
· Do you feel good when the other person fails?
· Do you get upset when you don't get your own way?
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1435290
If envy or jealousy rears its head, Deal with it quickly. Remember: we are created to love, and love isn't envious. So let us confess our sins and struggles. Let go. Let it pass. Let us keep our eyes on Jesus and following his way of service, -- our way out of the madness of envy.
PRAY: "O God, cure me of envy."