Summary: This is the fourth installment in a series I did on I Corinthians 13 entitled "Love of Another Kind", and deals with JEALOUSY and ENVY.

“It is Easy Being Green!”

I Corinthians 13:4

December 8, 2002

Love of Another Kind – I Corinthians 13

Talk about romantic; it’s hard to envision a scene much more so. My wife and I met…in a pizza parlor…at the birthday party of a mutual friend…who loved the Muppets. There, staring up at me from my plate, was the one and only Kermit the Frog. Thus did love begin to bloom!

Kermit the Frog is a much-loved American icon, whose signature line is “It’s not easy being green!” I came across the following article, though, from the Winston-Salem Journal; it ran on Thanksgiving Day, and details Kermit’s current state of mind. Allow me to read excerpts:

“November has been a big month for a little frog. Earlier this month, Kermit the Frog got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Today, a new Kermit balloon is unveiled during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. And Friday, his latest project, It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, makes its debut on NBC. Not bad for Kermit, a 2-foot tall amphibian Muppet who is known for lamenting that it’s not easy being green. But he has been feeling more empowered lately.

"I’ve actually learned to embrace being green," Kermit said by telephone from Los Angeles. "Unfortunately, so has Miss Piggy, which can make it a little difficult." Kermit’s role in (his new) film wasn’t much of a stretch. "I basically play the part of Kermit the Frog," he said. "It’s a role I was born to play. I do feel a little typecast, but it’s easy to learn the dialogue."

“Although the movie The Muppets Take Manhattan ended with his marriage to the amorous Miss Piggy, Kermit is quick to point out that, in real life, he and the hammy actress are just friends. "I’ll admit, there was a time when there was a little spark between Miss Piggy and I, back in The Muppet Show days," he said. "But that was 25 years ago, and we still work together. We have a professional relationship."

“Miss Piggy may not feel the same way. "For the holidays afterwards, I’ve kind of heard a rumor that she’s planning this romantic getaway," Kermit said. "That’s where she tries to be romantic, and I try to get away. I get cold feet, and that’s not that atypical for a frog anyway."

“Above all else, Kermit tries to remain honest about himself and his career. "What you see is what you get," he said. "Short, green, and sort of moist."

“It’s not easy being green”, sighs Kermit. Ah, but I beg to differ; Shakespeare called jealousy “the green sickness”, and we speak of people being “green with envy”. In that vein, it is all too easy being green!

As we’ve begun our study of I Corinthians 13, asking what “love of another kind”, God’s kind, looks like, we’ve seen the absolutely indispensable nature of love. Paul has reminded us that things like conspicuous spirituality, limitless knowledge, extreme faith, and unbounded generosity are in and of themselves worthless without love. We would all do well to ponder with regularity that sobering truth! We then began to look at Paul’s description of what God’s kind of love looks like. Paul has told us that love is patient, that it withholds vengeance and retaliation, but that instead love acts with kindness, another fruit produced by the Holy Spirit in our lives as we yield ourselves to His control. Today, we continue to the next point in Paul’s description, the first in a serious of negative descriptions, which we find yet in verse 4: love “is not jealous”.

We see it in Eve, envious of God’s position and His knowledge, as she lustily reaches for the fruit from the forbidden tree. We see it in seething Cain, raising a crude implement above the head of his own brother, striking him again and again until Abel lay dead. We hear it in the words of Sarah, demanding that her handmaid Hagar, whom she had faithlessly given to her husband, be banished, having conceived a child. We see it again as eleven brothers devise an unthinkable plan to sell their own flesh and blood into slavery. Jesus paints us a picture of it in the person of an older brother who, instead of welcoming his little brother home with open arms, wonders why his father hasn’t feted him with such a lavish display. After all, he’s been faithful to his father, hasn’t he? He hasn’t gone out and wasted his life in riotous partying; he hasn’t made a mockery of the family name. What’s in it for him, if this scoundrel brother of his can get such a royal welcome back home from the pigpen? “It” is the green sickness, jealousy, envy.

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