Exposing the Toxic Work of Envy

Your life can be dramatically transformed by the love of God, yet it can also be deeply eroded by the destructive toxicity of envy. As we look at what love looks like, so far we have been examining the characteristics of what love is, what love does and how love acts.

The first two being “love is patient” and “love is kind.” So far, 1 Corinthians 13 has told us what love does, but this is the first characteristic in the list where Paul tells us what love does NOT DO. It has to do with one of the most toxic forces that ruin our relationship health and even our mental health, it is the toxic poison of envy. Most see envy as a side subject, something only a few struggle with.

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It is seen as something that is not a main area of needed growth. We overlook it. Yet the entire Bible is covered with it. Just about every family problem, church conflict and relationship fallout had envy in it.

Look at history books and you will see families, countries, people groups and religious groups infected by envy, leading to a cascade of destruction, division, strife and even war. At the same time, envy seems to run underground, undetected and undiscerned. Because of this, envy will quietly poison our perspective, yet keep us blind to detecting its ways.

Yet it will slowly seek to infiltrate how we see others and how we relate. It is often rare that one admits that envy is fueling their struggle or conflict. Every generation has to do business with the destructive power of envy. It poisons the hearts of people, erodes homes and churches, causes division, destroys marriages and crumbles powerful organizations from the inside out.

All of us have to be aware of the work of envy if it’s to become strong and enduring. Honestly, too much of how we see others and relate is fueled by envy instead of love. That is why we need to keep envy and even toxic jealousy far from our lives, for it will set our own children against each other and homes against homes. It will destroy any organized leadership structure, destroying what can take decades to build and establish. Stories all throughout the Bible are littered with the effects of envy and jealousy.

Let this teaching provide an invitation to freedom. We often let envy drive the thoughts and actions of our hearts. You don’t have to live that way anymore. Today is a great day to take a new step into empowering love.

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