“Oh My Gawd Becky, look at her butt…it’s just out there…
I like big butts and I cannot lie
You other brothers can’t deny…”
Anyone know the name of this song? Those are the first few lines and –hint–it’s a nineties rap song. I know, I’m a little strange but yes, Sir-Mix-A-Lot came to mind as I studied this next characteristic of the love of God. HA! Don’t get up in my grill about it. Lol! But why did this particular song come to mind? It starts off with a major case of social envy. How many of us girls, and be honest, have seen another member of our gender and despised her for one of her appealing features? Or, have you ever suffered the wrath of this comparing jealousy? Don’t feel bad. It happened all over the Word. Sarah was so pretty Abraham, her husband, had to pretend to be her brother. God needed Ester to “work it” for a new career as queen? And Ruth, the Moabites? Yeah, she only saved the Christ line from dying out. I bet she drew some attention from the other ladies, as an exotic foreigner. All these girls had appeal! But is that what “envieth not” means to God? Is that really the heart of that statement?
Let’s take a closer look at; “envieth not.” Here is the literal translation; “Do not be jealous toward another. If someone knows more or is better than you at a thing, rather than enviously comparing yourself with them, endeavor to learn from them.”
Wow, that gets us right to the heart of the matter. There is always going to be someone better than you at a thing. It’s time to just accept that truth.
The Greek word here is very interesting. It’s zēloō, pronounced zā-lo’-ō. It’s the word for zeal or to be zealous about a thing. It is neither positive or negative by itself, but in context we see the meaning. And if you are jealous aren’t you feeling strong about something? It’s all in your perspective, right.
We find it in this context;
“And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him.” Acts 7:9
This kind of zeal led Joseph’s brothers to want to murder him but instead they sold him. That is strong, to the point of being possessed with one thought. Do you see the zeal?
Then James goes as far as saying;
“For where envying and strife [is], there [is] confusion and every evil work.” James 3:16
Every evil work? Yikes! Is there jealousy or strife in your group, family, home, school, or job? I’ve personally seen people’s lives destroyed because of this intense kind of jealousy, that started out as an innocent comparison that went unchecked. Like bitterness, it seeps into the lives then fills it to the point of pushing open the door for more problems.
We don’t compare each other, instead we share. If someone doesn’t measure up to your standards of body image, style, 5-senses appeal, intellectual appeal, whatever the case may be, share don’t compare.
Let me put it another way. Let’s say God, in all His understanding and knowledge, purposefully brought someone into your life. He knew they could teach you just one lesson. He also knew they would be the best one to teach it to you. Let’s say, God’s very excited as He looks over your customized training program. He knows you will see huge deliverance if you get this one lesson. But, when this person comes onto the scene, something about them sets you off. Maybe it’s his/her looks, personality, cologne choice, or something. And you are so busy focusing on those things that you miss the lesson/blessing. Imagine God trying to coordinate another person who now has to the right cologne to help you. Do you see how a wrong perspective can put a kink in the hose of God’s blessing in your life? It comes back to what really matters. The way we look doesn’t get us into heaven. Neither does the way you dress, tattoos, earings, beard/no beard, hair, lack of hair, long skirt, short skirt–need I go on? All that stuff is 5-senses stuff. Believing Romans 10:9-10 is the only thing that gets us in. From that point on we are all on the same journey, and God asks us to love one another–with the Love of God no less.
“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Psalms 37:4
Instead of comparing what you see, ask what you can learn. God can show you what to look for in each situation.
God bless you today!
To read the prior posts in this series click below.
:001 Look With Me, Closely
:002 What is God Like?
:003 Harvesting Patience
:004 What is the Antidote to Bitterness?