1 John 4 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. “Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” So, how do you know if you are living in His love? 1 Corinthians 13 gives a detailed description listing 16 characteristics of His love. Characteristics three and four are “Love does not envy, Love does not boast.” Envy compares yourself to others leading to restless, anxious, unhealthy feelings of inferiority. Boasting gives the appearance that compared to others you are above them. If you think about it, when you envy or boast, you are eyes are off Jesus and focused on others and yourself living in the flesh world.
God loves humility but hates envy and boasting. He knows the end result. The way up is down! thru obedience, submission, placing God first, and living a life of faith with Him on the throne room of my life. Look at the following passage and discover the disastrous results of a life full of envy and boasting.
James 3 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
Verse 13 declares that folks who live a good life in humility doing good deeds in faith and the love of Christ are wise and understanding.
But (note the contrast)…
if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do no boast about it…(why?)
- The descriptive of envy in verse 14 is bitterness which is devastating spiritually. Hebrews 12:15 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
- You discover in verse 14 that envy and boasting lead to denial of truth. Envy and boasting are about me and making me looking good. Truth becomes relative especially if it gets in the way of my agenda.
- Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, and demonic (verse 15).
- For where you have envy and selfish ambitions, there you find disorder and every evil practice (verse 16).
The world’s system is built for the “have’s” and not for the “have-nots.” He that has the gold rules. However, the resulting envy and boasting from our worldly system lead to ugliness.
However, the Kingdom of God is built on, 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 7:12). Philippians 2 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. The results of the Kingdom of God are peace…beautiful peace.
The love of God has no place for envy or boasting. Focus on the character of Jesus and love like he loves in the power of the Holy Spirit. Love does not envy; Love does not boast.