Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy,… I Corinthians 13:4
What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. James 4:1-3
Rule #3 of a life-giver is they are not envious or taken to jealousy. The life-giver does not have a green tone to their skin. They only look to what others goals are, not what they desire. The desire of a life-giver is to see others succeed and to a life-giver, that is success in their own lives. Using myself as an example, I have seen many people inspired by my weight loss accomplishment. I have seen people change what they are doing in their lives to bring the change they desire in their health. I always tell people that are overweight, but do not have any other health problem, that they are my hero. The reason they are my hero is that they are making a good choice before health becomes an issue as it was in my life. To me they are more amazing because they didn’t have the grim reaper knocking at their door like I had. There is no better motivation to change than when you don’t want to die at a young age. We are now in what love is not section in the life-giver rules. Let’s talk about jealousy so that we can avoid this negative attitude.
The first thing that we know about envy is that it can cause a lot of strife in your life. James points this out in the above verses. There is always a lot of drama associated with envy. When you see something or someone, someone else has, and you want it and desire it, that is envy. Envy divides and destroys. When we take envy to its end, it can be so destructive to others’ lives. No wonder it’s listed as one of the ten commandments of what not to do.
The next thing envy does is reprogram your thinking. It changes your priorities, it makes you do things you would not normally do when using moral fortitude. James lists a couple of things that we can end up doing, scheming and killing. Planning how to get something you really want is not a bad thing, scheming is not good at all. Scheming means you are planning something that is immoral to get something you want. Let’s face the truth here, if you are scheming to get a desire, that desire has to be something immoral to begin with. Scheming is the middle ground of immorality toward an ungodly goal. The very end of the spectrum is killing to get what you think you need or want. Selfish ambition can get to a goal quickly, but at what cost.
When you are on that path of a life-giver, you plan good things into your life. God gives you godly goals to seek after. He gives you a sense of contentment when you want that goal quickly. If we are seeking after what God wants for us, then our desires become less selfish and so much more rewarding. Contentment is the antidote to envy. Being content with what you have is life-giver territory. A hedonistic lifestyle is not rewarding, it doesn’t help others, and it’s all about you. The first two rules of patience and kindness are the cure to envy. Patience and kindness create contentment. When we are content, we are on the path that God has set before us and we are not thinking about ourselves and what we can do to please us, we are thinking about God and how we please him and do for others. It’s an intentional attitude; don’t envy.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.