Near midnight on December 30, 2012, Naomi Oni was walking to her home in Dagenham, east London after leaving work. A woman wearing a veil followed her. Before Naomi reached her home, the woman in the veil caught up and threw acid into Naomi’s face. The acid burned her face, chest and hands, causing the loss of hair and eyelashes. Skin grafts were needed to repair the damage. She will carry the scars the rest of her life. Police later arrested Mary Konye, who had been Naomi’s friend since secondary school. Konye was tried and convicted in 2014. After the jury rendered the verdict, DCI David Whellams, who investigated the crime, said, “Konye was almost obsessively jealous of the victim’s good looks and, after a previous argument between them, hatched an almost unbelievable plan to attack her with acid.”*
Such is the destructive power of envy. When we envy another person, we violate love. Our desire for what they have poisons our attitude. We cheer at their misfortune, or, as in the case of Mary Konye, seek to injure them. I Corinthians 13:4 says “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” (NIV) Note that love is described by positive traits, such as patience. But it is also described by examining traits that are the opposite. Today, to build your love for others, root out any envy poisoning your heart.
*”Mary Konye guilty of acid attack on friend Naomi Oni,” BBC News Services, January 23, 2014, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-25867695.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.