Others, Before Me…Part 3

The first two things Paul starts with that show what love is.  Right after those…patient and kind…he starts a briefing on what love does not do.

Enter, envy.  It supposedly makes the envious one green.  Well, being sick to your stomach is supposed to make you green.  Does envy make you feel like ya gotta hurl? Not sure that is the case.  People have “green thumbs” – do their thumbs envy the plants? No…don’t think so.

Jealousy vs. Envy

Many think envy and jealousy mean the same thing and interchange the words regularly. A guy likes a car someone has and wishes he could have it and can be accused of being envious, when in fact he is simply a little jealous. Some people are quick to point out how God says He is a “jealous God” and question how that can be if jealousy is wrong.  Jealousy is a normal emotion.  Envy, however, has a mean, selfish bent to it.

Jealousy is usually borne out of someone having or taking what is rightfully yours or just has something you want. Someone flirts with your spouse, it is normal to be jealous.  It is normal to be jealous when someone has gotten a new car and you have been wanting or even needing to get one.  Kept in check, jealousy is a normal, human reaction.


Envy is a bit uglier.  Envy says that you want what someone else has, to the point that you don’t want them to have it.  It not only wants what others have, but wants it only and all for itself.  Envy is a thief, a taker.  Envy does not delight in the blessings of others, but wants all the blessings for itself.

This shows to be contradictory to the previous two aspects of love.  An envious person is certainly not patient and definitely not kind.  He is all about himself.  He does not want to wait to get his own, he wants what you have and will find a way for you not to have it or to give it up.  It could be an item, a promotion, a friend…if he wants it, he will go after it and make sure you won’t have it.  Seems like it is kin to evil desire or lust…does it not?

Envy is also not so good for the envious one…Proverbs 14:30, A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”

Yeah, that’s a slightly strong metaphor, but the point is clear – envy can eat away at a person.  It involves bitterness, which adds stress, which is not good for a person either mentally or physically.

Here we are, followers of Christ.  His every motivation is based on love.  If we want to love as He loves, there should be no room for envy.  Love is about others, while envy is about me.

Me, me, me, me, me, me.

I want, I want, I want, I want, I want.

What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine.

Love puts “I” and “me” out of the way.  When we so desire something someone else has, that does not belong to us, so much so that we do not want them to have it, self is in front and in charge.

Love puts self on the shelf.




5 thoughts on “Others, Before Me…Part 3

  1. Sad, but ministry itself has become a competition anymore and I do believe pride, jealousy, and envy are at play. Is the person teaching or speaking doing so out of an honest, humble desire to inspire others toward the Lord? Or, is the person teaching or speaking enjoying their own wisdom a little too much? In reading through the OT and the NT, we see warning after warning for those in leadership to take what they are doing seriously or the Lord will cut them down and hold them accountable.

    Are we going into ministry for a title and some kind of recognition? Or, are we going into ministry to truly serve out of a humble desire to care for others.

    Leadership is so not about being OVER people, in charge of people, or instilling our wisdom. Leadership is about walking beside the church, doing without the recognition, living humbly, and serving others out of a desire to serve as Christ served. We need more of that in our churches today. I love our pastor; he is the most humble person and he serves in many capacities. It is very refreshing.

  2. I have experienced both good and bad Leadership John and yes one of the reasons for bad Leadership is their envy but also their ego, it comes before others and even before God.

    Paul talks about Godly Pride as the Scriptures confirm below which we all need to have and this comes from True Love and is not selfish or egotistical or does it envy others and turn green. (Strange how God’s Creation of Colours are sometimes attributed to evil especially green when it is shown in Revelation to be Godly)

    There are two types of Pride, Godly Pride and worldly or fleshy pride.

    What Worldly pride is…..

    Mark 7:22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

    1John 2:15- 17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.

    What Godly Pride is…..

    Galatians 6: 4 Each one should understand their own actions. Then they can take Pride in themselves alone without comparing themselves to others.

    2 Corinthians 8:24 show these men the proof of your Love and the reason for our Pride in you so that the Churches can see it.

    2 Corinthians 5:11-12 Because we know what it is to fear the Lord we try to persuade others. It is plain to God what we are and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. We are giving you an opportunity to take Pride in us not trying to commend ourselves again to you so that you have an answer for those who take Pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart.

    Romans 11:13b I take Pride in my Ministry.

    As a Christian I also take Godly Pride in my Ministry to those who are in darkness and rejoice with those who are not, as I’m sure you do too John.

    Christian Love – Anne.

    • Nehemiah Project says:

      A friend and I were discussing that much of the evil and worldliness warned about in scripture was not addressed to “sinners”, but believers and that the worldliness is not about evil and sin, but chasing after the world system, as we see in so many circles in the Church…money, position, notoriety, etc.
      Also, not long ago, saw an article that explained the high percentage of narcissists among pastors.
      Time we got back to Jesus.

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