Thursday, February 3, 2011

Love...Does Not Envy

See my picture today? As we talk about love this week, this is a sweet reminder to me of love. Not just because one's a heart and one is red. Not even because they're sparkly jewels (and I do like me some of those). Nope. But they do scream love to me. They sit on the little table beside my bed and tell me I am loved every morning when I wake up and every night when I go to bed. They are gifts from my boys.
Both of them had spent the night with my mom and then, thrill of a little kid's heart, she'd given them $5 each and taken them to the Dollar Tree. She let them go through the store and buy anything with their money they wanted. The Dollar Tree has lots of candy and toys, and they did buy those. But they spotted these and each bought one for their mama. That was a big sacrifice for a little boy. And became a precious treasure for me. I am loved more than toys or candy, trading cards or coloring books. And that's a lot of love.

Alright, we'd better get started on our study for today.

We're experts at finding fault with ourselves or our lives and seeing something we want in others. At least I am. How about you? Someone else always looks better, has her act together better, (of course) sings better. The list goes on. "I love her shoes." "I love your house." "I love the way they act towards each other."

That's not envy. Is it!?! Not necessarily. If you say it and mean it simply as a compliment then the answer is no. But if you say it and think inside how much better it would be if it was yours or how you don't understand why he/she/they always gets what's good and you don't, then the answer is yes. It's forgetting all of your blessings and coveting those of another. And there's nothing lovely about that.

Oh my sweet things, we've got to be extra careful on this one. Proverbs 14:30 tells us why. "A heart of peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones." Wait a minute, I thought that was osteoporosis. Does that mean I can quit taking that calcium supplement? =p Probably not. But I do need to take an envy supplement. We find it in this same verse. What's the opposite of envy? Peace. Isn't that what we've been talking about for the last two Friday's?

How interesting to note that envy is opposite to peace. I'd never really thought about it before but it's true. When we're constantly looking at others, comparing ourselves to others, and wishing we were like others or had the things they have, it's because we have no peace with ourselves. And we're not allowing Christ's peace to fill us. "...If you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such 'wisdom' does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice." James 3:14-16.
That's some bad company to keep. Ones we have no business messing with. No, love does not envy. It stays far from it.
After all, it causes spiritual osteoporosis.

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