1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity is the peak of Christianity (2 Peter 1:5-7). The Bible says that after salvation, charity is to be desired above all other things (1 Peter 4:8) and is the bond of perfectness (Colossians 3:14). Yet far too many people, Christians included, know so little about charity. God has not left man without answers, both simple and profound. First Corinthians chapter 13 offers the most vivid description of charity: charity suffereth long and is kind (1 Corinthians 13:4). It rejoiceth not in iniquity but in the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6). It beareth, believeth, hopeth, and endureth all things (1 Corinthians 13:7). Out of all the wonderful things associated to charity, the Bible makes it clear that charity will have no part with envy.
∙ (For children): When someone receives a blessing, it is because God allows it (John 3:27; James 1:17). We should be happy for others, knowing God wanted them to experience this blessing (Romans 12:15a). We should not envy but be satisfied with what God has given us (Hebrews 13:5).
∙ (For everyone): If charity is the peak of Christianity, every believer ought to desire it. Since envy hinders charity, it ought to be avoided by every believer. Which of the two do you desire?
∙ Do you find charity or envy most prevalent in your life? What happens when charity prevails? What happens when envy prevails? As a believer, which of the two is most enjoyable?
∙ Ask the Lord to strengthen you in charity.
∙ Ask God to protect your heart from envy.
SONG: ALL THAT I WAS