If I speak in the tongues Or languages of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3If 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.4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.1 Corinthians 13, NIV
When I think of Envy I usually think of obvious things. “I wish I lived in that house”. “I wish I had that job.” “I wish my hair was straight like hers.”
But what does envy mean in the context of the Corinthians? At this time in history, the Corinthians were putting some spiritual gifts of higher value than others. In chapter 12 Paul is talking about how we all have spiritual gifts, but they are all used to serve one God. That we all work together as the body of Christ. When one member is honored, we are all honored. When one member suffers, we all suffer. Then in chapter 13 Paul says the greatest gift of all is love.
When we are working to use our strengths to sever others and compliment others gifts/strengths, we are showing love. We are in harmony with one another, and that’s what we are called to do. You may see yourself as ‘less than’ but the body has many parts. And without each part working as it should, the body begins to fall apart.
What are your strengths? What has God blessed you with? How can you use those strengths to benefit those around you this week?