In the postmodern world, many do not believe in absolute values; everything to them is relative. The Ten Commandments as a rule in life is “NO, NO” to them. People dislike law (this is one definite sign of sinfulness); even among Christians, there is a widespread idea that believers should not be led by law, but only by love.
In the secular context, leaders and politicians find it in order to lie and to compromise to ensure re-election and to push through one’s own agenda and policies. In the name of love, it is ‘alright’ to commit adultery and promiscuity as long as no one finds out and because everyone else is doing it. When the truth of one’s sin is revealed, we expect others to forgive us because of love even though there is no true ‘repentance’ on the part of the sinner.
But the truth is: Law needs love as its drive, and love needs love as its eyes. Only as we observe the limits set by God’s Law can we really do good to people. Jesus Himself defines love and discipleship to Himself in terms of keeping His commands (John 14:15,21-24. Keeping God’s commandment is the only true way to love the Father and the Son, and this is also the only true way of loving one’s neighbour too. When the Apostle Paul declares that the one who loves another has fulfilled the law (Romans 13:8), he explained that love to neighbour embraces the prohibitions of adultery, murder, stealing, jealousy and envy. The believer’s most loving service to his neighbour is to uphold the authority of God’s law as one true guide to true life in God.
It is interesting that the Apostle Paul grouped the sins of jealousy, envy together with the sins of murder and the other gross sins. In the Christian church, the sins of envy and jealousy are rife and believers do not seem to realise that these sins are also serious in the eyes of God. Envy and jealousy are driven by pride, self-importance and hypocrisy; notice how the Pharisees and the rulers among the Jews were more concerned about their positions and they refused to acknowledge the truths about the Lord Jesus. They were more concerned that the people were ‘going to Jesus’ and that their positions in the religious circle were being threatened. Jealousy and envy even made them to blaspheme the Lord Jesus and to falsely accuse Him to bolster their own standings. These caused them to ignore the truth and to receive the ‘woes’ from the Lord.
We must not make the same mistake in our lives; pride, jealousy and envy are equally serious in the eyes of God as other so-called gross sine. They make us blind to our own shortcomings and instead cause us to focus on the ‘thorn’ in the eyes of others and miss the ‘log’ in our own eyes. Love would desire the best for one’s neighbour and would rejoice that the brethren do well in their spiritual lives. Let us not conclude that the problems of envy and jealousy only plague the younger and immature believers; they started in the heart of Cain who murdered Abel and they continue to rear their heads even in the lives of those who are supposed to be spiritual leaders and ministers. How far this would lead us from Philippians 2:3 which states “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others”. This is the attitude of mind Christ Jesus had when He took the very nature of a servant and was made in human likeness. This ought to be the same attitude for those who claim to be followers of the Lord Jesus; only then can the church shine forth as a beacon of love guided by the wonderful laws of God!