They envy their neighbors ...
I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind. -Ecclesiastes 4:4 NLT
I think that this verse could be something written on the editorial page of our local newspaper. And with respect to envying our neighbors Christians do not seem to fall behind others one bit. When I consider the edifices that we worship in on Sundays I generally see ornately decorated buildings with spaces that are used just one day, and maybe one night, out of the week. But it seems to have always been that way since Solomon built the first temple in Jerusalem.
I wonder what it is that causes us to be motivated by envy? I remember reading that Paul wrote, in the thirteenth chapter of first Corinthians, that love does not envy and feeling convicted about the way that I envied people my age that had good health. Maybe that is the point that Solomon makes here - envy is the polar opposite of love. We cannot be motivated by both. When our banner is love, and not envy, we will cheer on others and work to help them succeed.
Open our eyes to the envy that is leading us astray Lord. Help us to fully embrace love.