Today we will begin looking at what love is not. The description of what love is not is sandwiched in between what love is...(yes I did just end in a preposition for all you English majors). So why would Paul write what love is not in his next 8 descriptions of agape love? Just as we look at synonyms and antonyms when we are trying to get a bigger picture of the definition of a word, Paul is giving the antonyms of love to give us a rounded idea.
I want you to notice one thing about the next 8 descriptions of love - they can all be traced to selfishness and pride in our hearts.
The first 'is not'... jealous. Love is not jealous. Other versions use the word envious. Covet is another word that comes to mind. What are we desiring in others that we don't have? Is it your friend's nice home? Your brother's new car? A co-workers job status? I'm being really surface here. How about when someone else's child receives an award that yours doesn't receive? Or when your husband dedicates his time to a ball game, but not to a date? Am I stepping on toes here? Mine sure are hurting! The bottom line is that our envy and jealousy reflects our lack of contentment with God. It's the "grass must be greener on the other side" syndrome. And if we fan the flames of that fire, our coveting behavior blocks our ability to show love to others. It builds a big wall that we can't get over. So how do we get past it? By admitting and confessing to God that we aren't content with where He has us in our life. Psalm 84:11 says "No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly." Friends, this is the truth that we put in place of that confessed jealousy. When we put this verse into action, we are resting in the knowing that if something was good for us, God would give it to us. And if it isn't in our lives, then it isn't what's best for us.
So this week, let's ask God to reveal areas of jealousy. Once you see it, confess it and trust that God gives you only what is best for YOU! Then walk forward with the freedom to love your neighbor, all the while rejoicing with her over that blessing that God is giving her!