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Read Introduction to 1 Corinthians


“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;”


love does not envy;

Beginning with this phrase, we have seven negative characteristics that love does not possess. For one thing, the Corinthians were envious of those with outstanding gifts (3:3).  The root of the word “envy” is zeal or strong desire. There are two Greek words for envy or jealousy. One connotes the desire to deprive another of what he has and carries the idea of a grudge. This is not our word here. The second term means to desire for self what someone else has.


Love and envy are mutually exclusive.


Love and envy are mutually exclusive, so where one is, the other cannot survive. Christians can envy the business success of others. They can envy leadership positions given to others. Envy is a perspective of spite, but love rejoices at the success of others. Love delights in seeing others honored and esteemed.

Jas 3:14-15, But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

Paul had his detractors in Rome while he sat in a Roman prison. They were jealous of his success in ministry, so they tried to lessen his ministry in the eyes of the church in Rome.

Php 1:15-16, Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: 16The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; 17but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel.

Envy resents others because of their success. The envious person resents beauty, handsomeness, wealth, giftedness, talent, and success in others. Love does not detract from others but is glad when others are more gifted than we are.