According to 1 Corinthians 13:4 “love does not envy.” (NKJV)
To envy is to want what another has. Once again this morning I had to look at another translation other than the NLT because I did not feel comfortable with how it read. Maybe I am getting a message here. Who knows. The NLT says “love is not jealous,” however, I can read elsewhere that God is a jealous God so I decided to look at the NKJV for a bit different word. Well enough of an explanation.
Love does not envy. Thinking about this envy thing makes me think of a bad habit so many get into. What is this? It is the need to compete with others, to somehow be better than they are. So your spouse can work wonders with the computer. Your response, if you struggle with envy, is to want to be what you are not, a computer pro. So you buy books, go to classes, spend time online not because you want to develop marketable skills, but because you just must be better than him or her. That is an example of envy.
Competitiveness ruins relationships. Why not rather let your spouse, using my example, do the computer stuff and just ask him when you need help? You don’t have to be great at everything.
Love can thus let the other person, the one loved, excel in areas where you do not excel. Love can rejoice with that other person rather than competing with him. Doesn’t that sound much more peaceful?
So this morning I am searching my memory for someone who gives me a living example of this one. I must be tired because I am not coming up with one. Oh wait. Someone just came to mind. I haven’t seen him in a long time, but his name is Joseph and his wife’s name is Anna. And so let me explain.
These two friends both have amazing talents, but they do not have the same amazing talents. She teaches school. He does computer stuff. She is the education leader at their church. She when I knew her was quite popular in that church. We were good friends at the time. But Joseph, when I lived near them he was kind of in her shadow in a way. He married her, but we all knew and loved her. That said I do not recall Joseph doing anything to change that. He didn’t take them to another church or location. He didn’t tell her to step down from her position. Instead he let her excel, supported her in her endeavors, and cheered her on. Joseph is a good example of “love does not envy.”