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Love does not envy DAY 3

Updated: Mar 31

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

In our house we have a simple motto… Never compare up. If you have to compare, compare down. By that we mean never think of what you do not have (up) and rather be thankful for what you have that others don’t have (down). If this lockdown is teaching us one thing, it is that we can survive with much less than we think. We waste so much of our emotional and mental energy in comparing and therefor competing with others. Whether it be a sibling, a colleague or a next-door neighbour, it always leaves us empty and strangely desiring more. It leaves us trapped in the downward spiral of envy. That subtle enemy of happiness and contentment.

Contentment is one of the greatest assets in life. It makes us thankful for whatever we have. It literally frees us. In a materialistic world where everything is always (except now in this lockdown!) about who’s got the newest this or that, or knows so and so, or drives the best whatever, contentment is the anecdote. And the secret to contentment lies in the following: GOD IS ENOUGH. HE ALONE CAN SATISFY.

It does not envy…

When Paul is revealing to us that love does not envy, he is showing us the power of a love that is content, a love that does not compare with others. A love that focuses on what it has and not on what it still seemingly lacks. This same Paul wrote in Philippians 4:12-13 ”I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Paul calls it a secret. It’s like a treasure to be sought out. On the contrary the Greek word translated “envy” means “to burn with zeal.” Literally, the sense is “to be heated or to boil over with envy, hatred, or anger.” In the context of 1 Corinthians 13 the idea is that love does not focus on personal desires. It is not eager to increase possessions. God’s type of love is selfless, not selfish. May we in this time learn the secret of contentment and discover that God is enough for all our needs.

Stay safe and stand strong.

Retief


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