It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
Not only does Paul shed light on what God’s love IS, but he also shares with us what God’s love IS NOT.
God’s love is not envious.
Envy: A feeling of discontent or ill will due to another’s advantages or possession. To be resentful of another who has something desirable. To covet or long for wrongfully for another’s possessions.
Scripture gives us many examples of what envy can do to our hearts.
In Genesis 4 we read the account of Cain and Abel and their offerings to God. Cain brought “some of the fruits of the soil” as an offering to God while Abel brought “fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock.” God looked favorably upon Abel’s offering but not on Cain’s. Scripture tells us that Cain became very angry and this anger led him to kill his brother Abel.
In 2Samuel 11 we are told of David’s envy for Uriah’s wife Bathsheba. This envy leads David to commit adultery with her then have Uriah killed in battle.
When we study the life of Joseph we see the envy and jealousy his brothers had for him (Genesis 37:4, Acts 7:9). This envy led these brothers to hatred for their brother. They hated him so much they plotted to kill him but instead sold him to be a slave.
We live in a country that has so much to offer, the “American Dream”. We have so much more than so many around this world, yet all too often we find ourselves being envious of what others have. Even if it is not materialistic, we often wish we had what other people possess (talents, skills, gifts, looks, life, career, marriage, kids).
How do we manifest NOT being envious?
Be grateful! When we have an attitude of gratitude for all that God blesses us with we come to a realization that we are completely provided for by the grace and sovereignty of God. He gives us so much more than what we need.
Be a good steward of the things God has blessed you with. When we truly cherish and manage our resources wisely God blesses beyond our imagination. These blessings may not come in the ways of possessions, but in the heart. We become content with life.
Love does not boast. Love is not proud.
Boast: To self-display, extolling one’s self excessively.
Proud: (very similar to boast) To inflate, blow up, puff up, make proud. To bear one’s self lofty.
Scripture is very clear about elevating self (Matthew 23:12, Proverbs 29:23, Luke 14:11, Proverbs 11:2, Proverbs 16:18). When we boast this is our pride coming through. Pride is not love. We are to manifest humility through our love, not pride.
I read a quote that said “If you sing your own praises you may find yourself singing a solo.”
We manifest our humility when we think of ourselves less and think of others more. The only thing we should be boasting about is what Jesus Christ did for us on that cross.
Our challenge for today is to take a good inventory of all that God has blessed us with. This is an opportunity to truly see God’s blessings and not dwell on what we don’t have, or wish we did have, but all that we do have. Thank God for everything He has given to you. If we had nothing else but Jesus, we still have all we need.
The second part of our challenge is to practice humility. Humility is not thinking less of ourselves, for God created us uniquely. We are His masterpiece. It is thinking of us less often. When we find ourselves in a pattern of self-talk that is all about “me” turn that around and think of someone else that we could show God’s love to.
Father, You are the giver of all good things. You have blessed me beyond what I deserve. Help me to be grateful for all You give to me and do for me. Help me to be a good steward of Your blessings. Keep me humble Lord.