Getting Real About Life, about Love, and about God

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Love Does Not Envy

It was interesting that as I reflected upon "love does not envy" I came across a translation that used the word jealous rather than envy.  Being the easily distracted person that I am I begin to wonder if they were really the same thing?  Is there a difference between envy and jealousy.

If Paul is writing about God, who is love, is he saying that God does not get jealous?  Exodus 20:5 tells us that God is a jealous God and so does Exodus 25 and Deuteronomy 4 and 5.  Our God is a jealous God.

Can envy and jealousy really be the same thing?  I don't think so.

Envy has to do with wanting something that you don't have which somebody else has.  It is an emotion of wanting another persons things or attributes.  It is a feeling of discontent and resentfulness

Jealousy on the other hand is about not wanting to lose something that you have that is yours to someone or something else.

God created us for his pleasure.  We are his children.  His handy work or masterpiece. He loves us and does not want to lose us.  We are his but we have to choice him.  We are created by our Creator to love our Creator but the only way that it can be true, real, love is that we choose to love him in return.  We are His and we are restless until we find are place in him but we have to choose him.  God is a jealous God because he does not want to lose any of his children.  God is love and he does not want his children to be without His love.  He desires that none would parish and be separated from him.

God does not envy.  He is not discontent or resentful that he does not have something someone else has.

Love does not envy.  It is not resentful or discontent.  It does not want for other peoples stuff or belongings.

I think that when it comes to our love we often confuse envy and jealousy.  We see them as synonymous so what we are calling jealousy is really envy and our envy is really jealousy.  Maybe understanding the difference in these two emotions can help us to love more like God loves.

Love does not get resentful and discontent or long for something that belongs to someone else.  Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

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