Love’s Hidden Enemy … Envy

Childish thinking hinders our ability to love and be loved. It is a hidden enemy of loving relationships. Faulty, childish, self-seeking thoughts about love need to be replaced with truths about mature, others-serving love. In other words, our understanding of love must mature as we get older, yet there is an enemy that actively works against it. That enemy is envy.

For example, let’s take a look at babies. Unless everything is going their way, they are not content. In fact, their natural state is to be discontent. No one by nature is contented. Contentment needs to be learned as we mature, and our mental framework properly matures when it is incrementally shaped by God’s Word.

Maturity is learning to be content when you don’t have what you want because it is better to be satisfied with what you have than to be always wanting something else. Envy is based on the myth that you must have more in order to be happier. Envy is resenting other people who have something you desire and believing you can’t be happy until you have it too. That lie distorts the true meaning of what it means to love and be loved. It produces relational discord in life.

God’s Word teaches us to be grateful for who we are and what we have because it’s all a gift from Him. He created us with unique gifts and talents that He didn’t give to someone else. When we learn to be content with our talents and focus on using them to their fullest potential to serve others with excellence, then we can understand the mature meaning of love. As long as we’re discontented, we will perpetually envy and miss the mark.

To be clear, envy is not desire. Desire is good. Envy is not ambition. Ambition is good. Envy is not a dream. We should have a “stretch” dream so big that we have no clue how to accomplish it without God’s help. Envy is not setting goals. Goals are needed to accomplish your “stretch” dream. Desires, ambitions, dreams, and goals are all healthy when motivated by mature love.

Mature love is being grateful for who we are and what we have while desiring to live up to the life which God has called us to live. As we seek to understand our calling, let’s commit to serving others with excellence, as though we are working for God. When we do, we defeat the enemy who wants us to fall into the selfish trap of envy.

Published by Marc Casciani

Bridging brothers & sisters to what's important. Author of Craft Your Calling. Host of the Neighborly Love podcast.

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