February 6. Love is Not Envious

Monday, February 6, 2012

February 6. Love is Not Envious

Greek – zeloo (zay-lah-oh). To have intense negative feelings over another’s achievements or success.

This is just one of those things that drives most of us insane.  We can’t help the feelings of envy that crop up, no matter what.  We are envious of so many things – wealth, fancy material items, healthy children when ours are sick, nice car – or even a drivable car. Another person is doing what they love to do while we are stuck in a job we despise, two of our friends seem to have a great relationship and don’t involve us, someone has success in a field we work so hard to even get something done in, their church doesn’t have nearly the number of problems that we have – or maybe their pastor is better at relating to the people.

Every day we face a million things that cross our path intent on creating envy in our hearts.   Advertisements and media set us up to feel like we are missing something unless we compete with others for the very best.  We are told that we can’t be the best unless we are wealthy, look a certain way, shop at the right stores, drive the right cars, get the right education, spend our money (or save our money) in a specific manner.  And if we don’t live up to the world’s values in these areas while others seem to, our hearts are destroyed and we begin a cycle of attempting to live like the Joneses.

Because of envy, we destroy relationships.  Rather than support and encourage those who are out there going after their dreams, we do our best to hurt them … sometimes in insidious, hateful ways.  How many of us have found ourselves bad mouthing a friend who was doing something because we felt we should be doing it instead.  Rather than giving them our full support, we are angry that they didn’t give us their support.

Envy is such an ugly, ugly emotion.  There is never a time that it is healthy.  We don’t always see it for what it is, because we are so caught up in our own messy self-confidence – or lack thereof.

How do we stop envy from getting in the middle of our relationships with each other and with God?  What steps can we take to lessen its impact in our lives?  How would it change our relationships if we could begin to eliminate envy from daily interactions?  And when you consider these questions, how quickly do you think of someone else’s problem with envy and how it would help your relationship if they would just get over it?