Love... [part III]

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
[1 Corinthians 13:4-8]

I've been delving a little deeper into being patient and kind as I seek to truly love others; but I admit that I wasn't really feeling like I needed to take too much of a look at being envious. Me? I don't struggle with that tenth commandment. I'm not greedy. I don't want what I don't have. I am content and thankful more often than not. ...right, Lord?! ..........Lord?

Turns out I need to work on this just as much. I'm so thankful that God readies my heart to read His truth, and make a change! To stop any more envy from taking hold in my mind.

envieth (KJV) is translated from the Greek word dzay-lo'-o (phonetic spelling), which means: 
-to burn with zeal
-to be heated or to boil with envy, hatred, anger
-in a good sense, to be zealous in the pursuit of good
-to desire earnestly, pursue
-to desire one earnestly, to strive after, busy one's self about him
-to exert one's self for one (that he may not be torn from me)
to be the object of the zeal of others, to be zealously sought after 
-to envy

This word appears only 12 times in the NT, and is also translated as "covet", "desire", or "lust". I get the picture: burning, passionate, desirous, etc. And since I've been told multiple times that I tend to be even-keeled, silent, and lukewarm in my dealings with others - it's hard to believe that any of those words would describe my thoughts or attitudes.

But God is showing me that I am one of the most envious people I know, especially where love is concerned.

I tend to get suspicious any time the people closest to me choose to do things with anyone who is not me.
{You mean my husband sometimes likes to hang out with his friends?!}
{My children are getting old enough to prefer each other's company over a snuggle with me?}
{Oh, a group of people got together and I wasn't invited?}
{The Lord chose to use another person to do something incredible, and I wasn't in on that?!}

The pang and resulting bitterness that is SO quick to spring up in my heart is fast and furious. And if I don't nip that in the bud immediately, I am left feeling hurt, instead of being thankful that my family and friends are developing other amazing relationships with wonderful people!! It's so selfish. (Selfish seems to be a running theme through this Love... series!)

God's showing me other ways that envy sneaks in, too. Not necessarily in my own life, but that He's been leading me to guard against in my heart, lest I be tempted:
-desire for a perfect marriage, perfect friendships, perfect opportunities to serve others
-desire for hollywood-style relationships and lifestyles.
-desire to be thin, hip and trendy. or just thin. not for the sake of health, but just to be better-looking.
-desire for a more comfortable lifestyle
-desire to be fully appreciated for all of the stuff I do on a daily basis that goes completely unrecognized!!

One final piece that my attention was drawn to: did you catch one of the last parts of the Greek definition? "to be the object of the zeal of others, to be zealously sought after". Just some food for (my) thought - God does not desire me to live a life in which other people are envious of ME.

The Lord is impressing these upon me:
stop it with the goody-two-shoes Facebook posts if I'm never going to balance them with a "...and sometimes, I have a junk day" post.

stop it with the pretending like I have it together and know everything. Especially in the areas of marriage, parenting, friendship, homemaking, homeschooling, or being a Christian. or life.

and on. and on. God is just continuing to convict me of so many spaces in my heart where I hide envy, and the desire to make people envy me by living a surfacely-clean, pious, post-worthy life.

That is not loving.

What the Lord desires is that people see Jesus Christ in me and are drawn inexplicably to His life-giving Word and His magnificent grace and His unfathomable mercies - not because they want what I have but because they are in need of Him. Not me.

So I plead with you, while I'm on this journey:

with the idea that doing what I do
will make you more like Jesus.

Especially if I say or do anything that does not point you to the mercies and grace and love and truth of Jesus.

He is the only one
worth chasing after!

Love does not envy. If I envy anyone, I cannot love them the way Jesus asks me to because my heart is tainted against them. And if I want to live a life that is enviable, then I am blocking others from seeing Christ formed in me, and I cannot love them the way Jesus asks me to because their vision of me is tainted. Oh, Lord - change me. Give me a godly jealousy - the only kind You want in me - a desire to seek Your face and know You more and more!!!

Learning to love,
for His glory!

I'm sharing this post over at A Proverbs 31 WifeThe Better Mom, The Time-Warp WifeGrowing HomeFar Above RubiesA Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Raising Homemakers, Walking RedeemedDeep Roots At Home, Raising Arrows, Hope in Every Season, & Yes, They're All Ours!

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  1. What a great post! So many things I could relate to. And thank you for reminding us to not only post the "nice" things. I am careful not complain or speak unkindly about anyone online, but we also don't want to make it seem like we have it all together. Because we don't!! Thank you for the wise words.

    1. Thank you! And thanks for making an important distinction about what to post - there is a huge difference between posting unkindness about others or complaining, and the honest post about how our own shortcomings!!