Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 1 Corinthians 13:4
In the Declaration of Independence we hold this truth to be self-evident: All men are created equal. Men may be created equal, but anyone can observe that there are obvious inequalities, obvious differences in talents, abilities, substance, and environment. The manner in which people use their gifts, whether industriously or indifferently, diligently or carelessly, can increase the difference.
In these differences are to be found the seeds of jealousy and pride, for humanity cannot refrain from making comparisons. Thinking of those who have more, a person can become envious; thinking of those who have less, once can become proud and arrogant.
Only a spirit of love can conquer both feelings -- envy and pride. Love born of God recognizes the biblical truth that God does not play favorites. To God, every person is a sinner in need, and only His love can supply that need.
Only at Calvary's cross can these rough edges of envy and pride be chiseled from our heart. There we are confronted with the truth that all that we are and have is an undeserved gift of God.
The heart that understands this is stripped of all envy and pride, because it regards all fellow human beings as persons in need of Christ's love.
PRAYER: Lord, forgive us when we are proud and boastful or envious of others. Instead, fill us with Your Spirit of love and humility; for Jesus' sake. Amen.
(Devotions from "The Abundant Life" copyright 1998, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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