“…for he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up.”
ENVY, I looked it up, is basically spite and resentment at the success of another together with a desire to possess what they have1. Unchecked ENVY “turns sour” into anger which leads to aggression. It didn’t take rocket science for Pilate to see what motivated the Jewish council to bring Jesus to him. Jesus had want they wanted to secure for themselves. It got ugly.
Thomas Aquinas said (in the vernacular of the 12th century) “Envy… is contrary to charity, whence the soul derives its spiritual life… Charity rejoices in our neighbor’s good, while envy grieves over it.”2
I think charity means LOVE – ENVY is contrary to LOVE.
Interestingly, yesterday I spent a great deal of my day pondering “LOVE is kind.” I had been reading about Kara Tippetts and apparently this was a mantra of sorts for her life. Over burgers at S&S, I even had the great and rare privilege of visualizing Kara’s image of kindness with three amazing women who are artists (Aymi, Madi & Jessie). We thought about how we would draw it and the absolute power it would have if we just practiced kindness – even once a day.
It would change the world, right?
So, what troubles me is this. How often do I ENVY and what does ENVY look like “in me”? I know it might be ugly and painful to see, but if I’m taking on LOVE then ENVY has gotta go.
Holy Spirit – be the filter of my thoughts and feelings. Stop the weed of ENVY in its tracks! Gently if possible, but use Round-UP if necessary. Let there be fruit: LOVE, joy, peace, patience, kindness…