Love is Not Jealous
Versus or Verses?
Scarcity vs. abundance.
“There’s only so much.” vs. “There’s more than enough.”
“You’ve got more than me” vs. “Wow, look at all that we have together!”
“It’s not fair!” vs. “I am so blessed.”
“This is my lane; don’t you dare cut in!” vs. “After you.”
Who’s better? Me vs. you.
The direction and destination of versus are Me First. Only me.
Comparing. Resenting. Rivalry. Jealousy. Envy.
These five behaviors lead to dead ends – and death – on the treasuring journey of life.
Love is not jealous, as St. Paul wrote in the thirteenth chapter of this First Letter to the Corinthians.
Practicing jealousy leads to cutting people off from the dignity they have from sharing in the Divine Image.
And that can mean even cutting people off from life.
Think cold shoulders. Trash talking. Ignoring. Intentional prejudice. Isolation. War. Murder.
With the truth in mind that everyone is created in God’s image and likeness, each person carries three treasures that reflect God’s presence.
The treasures of being, doing and relating.
The treasuring journey of life celebrates the person and respects the three treasures that a person has.
What’s the opposite of being jealous?
What is admiration?
Recognizing and giving attention to others.
Showing interest in others.
Respecting and honoring their dignity.
Offering praise for things done well.
Sharing ideas, conversation, good words, and good deeds with others freely.
Congratulating others on their successes and offering empathy on their mistakes or misfortunes.
When we admire God, ourselves, and others, we are treasuring.
The process of treasuring involves our thoughts, words, and deeds.
Treasuring starts with thinking and recognizing the value of a person’s gift of being.
I believe that the best thoughts and words, God’s thoughts and words, about ourselves and others’ value, are found in the Bible.
Biblical verses, not thoughts of “versus.”
Every human being has a spark of divinity and was made in God’s image and likeness, as described in the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible.
“Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image…so God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:26-27, NSRV)
“God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31, NSRV)
Speaking in God’s name to the people of Israel (and all people individually and as a community), the Prophet Isaiah wrote, “You are precious in my eyes and honored, and I love you..” (Isaiah 43:4, NSRV)
The primary message in Christianity is that God is love.
God admires what God has made, and that includes you, me, and every human being.
Life is precious, and so is each person.
We can avoid the dead end of jealousy by reflecting on God’s thoughts, praying for wisdom, understanding, and insights.
We can make the conscious effort to tune out the societal noise about comparing, craving, and coveting who others are and what others have.
And we can think admirably of others and tell them so, in our own words, through our own verses.
What verses would you like to share with others?
Click here to read the next attribute of love, “Love is Not Pompous.”