1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
There are three major kinds of love identified by three Greek words; eros, phileo, and agape.
We are most familiar with eros love, or romantic love.
As its name indicates, eros is passionate or sexual love (eros is the source of the English word erotic). The second major kind of love is phileo the Greek word for friendship love.
Phileo refers to brotherly love and is most often exhibited in a close friendship. Best friends will display this generous and affectionate love for each other as each seeks to make the other happy.
Agape is the most powerful, noblest type of love. Agape is sacrificial love. Agape love is more than a feeling—it is an act of the will. This is the kind of love that can be commanded and controlled or directed by the mind and will of the person who chooses to love.
This is the love that God has for His people and that prompted the sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus, for our sins.
Agape Does Not Envy
The Greek word translated “envy” means “to burn with zeal.” Literally, it means “to be heated or to boil over with hatred, or anger.” Here the idea is that agape doesn’t focus on personal desires. It is not eager to increase possessions. Agape is selfless, not selfish.
Envy can easily apply to anything – good looks, status in life, musical talent, someone’s spouse and just about anything that you think has been short changed by God. More than this envy, can lead to a deep desire to improve yourself or your position at the expense of the person that you envy. For example, make yourself look good by tearing down the reputation of the person you envy.
Agape is content in whatever state it finds itself; therefore to envy or be jealous of someone else is to declare that you are not content with who you are or what you have. That’s basically saying, “God you have made a terrible mistake; you have not been good to me”.
Agape rejoices when others are blessed. There is no room for envy. Love does not seek to benefit itself and it is content with what it has, because its focus is on meeting the needs of others.
Philippians 4:10-13 NIV I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.