If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 1 Corinthians 13:3-4
“Love envieth not.” This, indeed, is implied, when it is said, “Love is kind.” For kindness and envy are inconsistent: They can no more abide together than light and darkness. If we earnestly desire all happiness to all, we cannot be grieved at the happiness of any. The fulfilling of our desire will be sweet to our soul; so far shall we be from being pained at it. If we are always doing what good we can for our neighbor, and wishing we could do more, it is impossible that we should repine at any good he receives: Indeed, it will be the very joy of our heart.”
John Wesley (1703-1791) in John Wesley in Sermon 139 “On Love” preached at Savannah, February 20, 1736 (text from the 1872 edition – Thomas Jackson, editor).
Why bring up envy when our focus is generosity seasoned with kindness? Envy is the sinful force that insidiously washes away our kindness and consumes our resources for doing good thereby limiting our generosity.
In modern terms, we want what other people have so we often live beyond our means to get those things. This activity uses what resources God has supplied for doing good to others on things instead of people.
The insatiable and dark desires of envy leave us empty.
Lest envy overtake you and your generosity, make a list of the things you think you want that others have. Give that list to God. Sometimes He may supply these things, and other times He may graciously show you that you never needed them after all.
What happens in you, however, is most important. When you let go of envy, you make room for the spirit to produce the fruit of kindness. As Wesley proclaimed, “Kindness and envy are inconsistent: They can no more abide together than light and darkness.”
Kindness fills us with light and love and enriches our generosity.Read more