Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. I Corinthians 13:4
I came to the dismaying conclusion that I had entertained a monster this weekend and did not realize it. I had done the “right” things. I had counted my blessings. I had tried to dwell on all of the things that I cannot account for except for the provision of God. And still the monster raged. “But you don’t have …” That list grew almost more quickly than the list of gratefulness. This list became the one that was at the forefront of my mind. The subtlety, insidiousness and persistence of the list of don’t haves left me speechless.
“It does not envy.” I’m shockingly full of envy. Envy of all sort of things – big or small. I am quick to give in to that monster and allow him to take up all sorts of space in my heart and mind. Space he was never entitled to, space he has not earned, but space that he infiltrates and quickly assumes is his. This monster is quick to put up the occupied sign and he likes to linger, inserting himself in places where he has never been invited.
When I discovered his attempt at permanent residence this morning, it was time to post the eviction notice and act on it. Time to dig out the foundation he was building and to take those thoughts captive again. It was time to fill my heart and mind with the qualities that love is – full of patience and kindness. A kind heart rejoices in the successes and delights of others. It celebrates with them. It does not envy them. Those words are written so quickly, really too easily. To actually apply them, that requires some significant Spirit-given fortitude. I wish I had a formula to remember this. An easy recipe to apply so that I would not envy again. I haven’t found that quick fix. Instead I choose to “… demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and [I] take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” II Corintians 10:5 My envy monster doesn’t comply with the knowledge of God, so since he was trespassing, he got the boot this morning.
Thank goodness for love.