Love Does Not Envy

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

(1 Corinthians 13:4 MSG)

I once came across a quote that said, “People can have more than you and still be jealous.” Because jealousy and envy are often used interchangeably, we tend to think that they’re the same, but they’re not. Here’s a good definition of both terms that can help us understand them better. “Jealousy is solicited anytime there is a threat to something that is of value to an individual (in other words, it’s that icky feeling you get when you are afraid something will be taken away from you). Envy, on the other hand, is the emotion solicited when somebody has something that you want for yourself.” Sadly, they can both affect our health, if we don’t deal with them on the spot.

The apostle Paul dealt with the age-old problem of envy in his letter to the Corinthian church. A good study of the letter reveals that envy was an occurring problem in the church. So in First Corinthians 13, also known as the “Love Chapter” in the Bible, Paul told the Corinthians that love doesn’t envy. The Message Bible puts it this way, “Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.”

Unfortunately, those words did not just apply to the Corinthians alone. If it’s in the Bible, it’s there for a reason. Many Christians today still struggle with envy. They want what they don’t have, even if it means disobeying God and stepping on others to get it. That’s not love.

When Jesus began to gain more followers than his forerunner, John the Baptist, the Baptist’s followers went to John and reported, “Rabbi, you know the one who was with you on the other side of the Jordan? The one you authorized with your witness? Well, he’s now competing with us. He’s baptizing, too, and everyone’s going to him instead of us” (John 3:26). I love John’s response. Listen to what he had to say about it: “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven” (v.27).

If God didn’t give you something, don’t try to force His hand. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

“Envy eats nothing, but its own heart.”


Published by risingwiththeson

Farah obtained her Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree (with a double major in English and Religious Studies) from the University of Toronto, where she also completed her Bachelor of Education (OISE). While she enjoys teaching, writing gives Farah equal pleasure. She began to exercise this passion with the publication of "Rising with the Son," her daily devotional blog. It is designed to help strengthen the faith of her readers in Jesus. Through her writing, it is Farah's wish to inspire others and help them develop a closer relationship with God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

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