It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 1 Corinthians 13:4
We live in a “me first” society, and the world teaches that you have to “look out for number one” and make sure you get what you want, no matter whom you have to step on to get it. We live in a day, unfortunately, where those in the public eye are worshipped, and for many the life goal is becoming famous. But we are called to be “in the world but not of it”.
Christians have a higher calling. Fame and fortune are not what we are to seek. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you”. We are to be like Jesus, who was humble and meek; certainly fame was not on His agenda.
James 4:6 says, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Solomon said, "A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor." (Proverbs 29:23 NIV) Finally, the psalmist writes, "You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty." (Psalms 18:27 NIV)
Unfortunately, even Christians are not above these things. The Lord has gifted me with the ability to sing, and now at this point in my journey I can share my testimony of how I struggled with envy and pride as well, although at the time when I was dealing with these things, it was embarrassing to admit that I felt this way. Our church has an awesome worship team with many talented musicians and singers, and from shortly after I began going there until just recently, I wanted more than anything to be on that team. This longing to possess something that God had not given me really almost consumed me. It certainly interfered with my worship. While I should have been focusing solely on God, I was focusing more on me, I am sorry to say.
I am happy to report that the Lord, in His infinite wisdom and His gentleness, has brought me to a better and higher place, where I am willing to wait on His timing to exalt me, even if I sing only in the Heavenly choir, which I think we all will join someday. The results of my journey have made me able to receive compliments as something nice but not all-consuming, and to be able to honestly praise others and hear others praised without feeling envious. I have come to place the Lord first, far above other things, as He deserves and demands. We must love the Lord, our God, above all things and to accept what He gives as our provision from Him and not be caught up in wanting what others have. We should rejoice in God’s goodness and His wisdom in all things. If I brag about my gifts, I am saying that mine are better than the ones that others have or, worse, I steal God’s glory because He is the giver of all good things and deserves my gratitude for what He has done in my life. If I envy my Christian brother or sister, I show that I love myself above him or her and consider myself more worthy of God’s blessing. Wanting what others have or bragging about what I have or exalting myself is merely self-love. It is not the love of God at all.