1 Corinthians 13:4
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant” 1 Corinthians 13:4
A story is told of a kindergarten teacher who was helping one of her students put on his boots. She was obliged to help after the student requested the help. With her pulling and pushing the boot did not go in. By the time the second boot had fitted the young boy both of them had worked up a sweat. The teacher nearly whimpered when the little boy said, ‘teacher they are on the wrong feet.’ To the adult’s surprise when she looked they were indeed on the wrong feet. It wasn’t easier pulling them out of his feet than it was putting them on, but with meekness, she kept a straight face and battled to remove the boots and put them back. This time on the right foot. Then our little boy announced, ‘These are not my boots.’ it must have taken the size of Noah’s flood to hold back her screams at the young boy since she quietly struggled to get the boots off him. Then he said, “ these are my brother’s boots, mom made me wear them”.
The story evokes emotions of fear, laughter, sadness and impatience at the boy and his teacher. Patience is never an easy thing to do. But if we are to reflect the love of Christ, no matter how frustrating it is we must be patient with them. Small amounts of patience every day allow us to be kind, humble and walk continuously in love. This is what grounds our relationships since love can endure evil, provocation without being filled with resentment, revenge or indignation. Love, filled with love, will put up with many slights and neglect from the person it loves and wait to see the kindly effects of such patience on the person.
Love is also bountiful, courteous and obliging. A heart full of love is big, it’s ready to show favours and do good. It seeks to be useful and not only seizes on opportunities to do good but also searches for them. God showed us love and kindness when we did not deserve it, while we were still in sin Jesus died for the sake of our sins. Where love is present kindness is provoked, it looks for a way to improve somebody and not tear them down. True love is not grieved at the promotion of others; their honours or their estates. If we truly love our neighbours then when they do well we share in it and rejoice with them. This is the true proper effect of kindness. In Ephesians 4:32, Paul writes that we should be kindhearted to one another, forgiving each other just as the Lord has forgiven us.
It’s Not Arrogant
Love is a sworn enemy of selfishness, it does nothing out of a spirit of contention or vain-glory. Those with a heart of love esteem others better than themselves (Philippians 2:3). They are not inflated with a sense of their own importance. Nonetheless, arrogance and pride puff up but love edifies and preserves people from themselves. If God is love and love is patient then God is patient. And this patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Abraham waited patiently and he received all that Gods had promised (Hebrews 6:15).
King James Version (KJV)
“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up”
New International Version (NIV)
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant”
New American Bible (NASB)
“Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag, it is not arrogant.”
English Standard Version (ESV)
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant”
The Living Bible (TLB)
“Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud”
Love Is Patient
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”