“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;” I Corinthians 13:4
Envy here refers to someone being heated to a boil due to envy, hatred or anger.
God has never been motivated by envy, hatred or anger. He may get angry, but anger doesn’t drive Him. He’s motivated by compassion. His motives are pure. God sent Jesus simply because He saw our condition and knew we were helpless to save ourselves. How do we know this? Romans 5:8 tells us that, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” We didn’t deserve it, but He did it anyway.
We also see that same compassion in the life of Jesus also. Both Matthew and Mark tell us Jesus was “moved with compassion” to heal and teach. (Matthew 9:36 & 14:14 and Mark 1:41 & 6:34).
Jesus learned this compassion from the Father. In John 5:19, Jesus says, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.”
Jesus is our head and we are His body, so we need to be motivated by compassion too. Genuine love for one another. The action love that speaks truth, but covers people. The action love that assists some one but doesn’t coddle them or allow excuses. Love should MOVE us to help someone who is struggling. Love should MOVE us to pray for those around us. Love should MOVE us to come along side people and encourage them.
When I find that my motivations are wrong or I find myself simmering and about to boil, I take a step back. I breathe deep and I try to figure out what’s the root of my issue. Am I afraid? Am I hurt? Am I frustrated? Am I feeling discontented or feeling a resentful longing because of someone else’s position, possessions, qualities or attributes (envy)? Am I full of intense dislike or have ill will towards another person (hatred)? Am I desirous of revenge or full of a desire to fight back (angry*)?
Sometimes I can figure it out. Sometimes I can’t. Either way I take it to the Father in prayer. I ask Him to help me to diffuse the situation and respond in love. Sometimes this is a simple under my breath prayer, that is handled immediately. Sometimes it’s deeper and takes longer. Like a broken place that needs to be healed or a mindset that needs to be changed. Whether the issue is big or small, God is big enough to take care of it. God is Yahweh Rophe. He is healing. He heals broke hearts along with broken bodies. He wants His people to be fully healed and whole.
Are you dealing with anger, hatred or envy? The first step in dealing with those things is prayer, asking God to help.
Just as important as prayer is, is receiving God’s love. It is absolutely essential that you believe He loves you and actually accept His love. Without you receiving His love, you won’t have any love to give to anyone else. You cannot give something that you don’t have.
For more on God’s love…check out this message on the God Kind of Love from Pastor Dino Lasala: https://vimeo.com/album/1518523/video/65513155
*PS Anger is actually a secondary emotion. It usually comes from hurt, fear or frustration. When you feel anger rising, ask yourself if you are hurt, afraid or frustrated. (Or a combination of the above). When you deal with the root, either the fear or the hurt or the frustration, the anger will go away.