Characteristics of Agape #3: Love Does Not Envy

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“4 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 .Love never fails.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)

First off, let me state that I believe that envy or jealousy, just like anger, is not an evil emotion in itself. For just as there are certain times when it would be appropriate to be angry (Ephesians 4:26), there are times when it could or would be appropriate to be jealous- at least a little :-). Am I contradicting God’s word? I don’t think so.

Both Exodus 20:5 & 34:14 tell us clearly that our God, in whom there is no unrighteousness (Psalm 92:15) is a jealous God. Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:2 speaks of being ‘jealous’ over the Church in Corinth with a ‘godly jealousy’. Meanwhile, James the apostle reminds the church that the Holy Spirit which we have received from God ‘envies intensely’ (James 4:3). In other words, in scripture we can find that there’s another kind of jealousy that’s permitted- a godly or virtuous jealousy that motivates us to intensely protect that which is sacred, holy and set apart to God in our lives.

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Why then does the God –kind of Love not envy?

The answer to this question lies in understanding then what kind of envy scripture refers to in this passage. As you may have guessed, the scripture ‘Love does not envy’ refers to the negative and more commonly understood form of envy- any feeling of dislike or resentment towards another person simply because such a person possesses something we think should be ours. The God-kind of love, which we have in previous posts descried as an unselfish, non-self-seeking kind of love does not allow us to harbor any feelings of ill-will towards others for whatever reason.

To give into the temptation to be envious of another person’s success or possessions is to allow ourselves to be dominated by the evil desires of our sinful human nature instead of being dominated by the desires of God’s spirit within us (Galatians 5:16-20). Let this be a reminder then the God-kind of love which you and I possess in our spirits gives no room for envy or jealousy. So say no to envy and yes to walking in love towards all by the help of God’s spirit within you. LOVE DOES NOT ENVY.

Related post: 3 ways to overcome the temptation to be envious

Now please say this with me:

The love of God has been shed abroad in my heart by the

Holy Ghost. I shall endeavor to let that love nature dominate me.

I have God’s love nature in my heart – in my spirit.

Therefore, I’ll not let my natural reasoning dominate me.

I refuse to allow the flesh to rule me.

I’m going to walk in the Spirit by walking in love.

I am a lover not a hater.

I will practice and exercise the fruit of love so that it can

grow and increase. …….

I will make the love of God my great quest in life,

For then my love shall abound, and God shall reap the glory.

N.B. The above confession is an excerpt from Rev Kenneth Hagin’s book : ‘LOVE: The way to victory’.

^^^

Thanks for reading. I look forward to reading your comments.

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Twitter: @ify_ngozikaa

Facebook: Ifeoma Nkem-Gbemudu

Email: singifeoma@yahoo.com

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