Posts Tagged ‘1 corinthians 13 4’

howWhen we use the word “jealous,” we use it in a sense of being envious of someone who has something we do not have. This kind of jealousy is a sin and is not characteristic of a Christian; rather, it shows that we are still being controlled by our own desires (1 Corinthians 3:3). Galatians 5:26 says, “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

The Bible tells us that we are to have the perfect kind of love that God has for us. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). The more we focus on ourselves and our own desires, the less we are able to focus on God. When we harden our hearts to the truth, we cannot turn to Jesus and allow Him to heal us (Matthew 13:15). But when we allow the Holy Spirit to control us, He will produce in us the fruit of our salvation, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Being jealous indicates that we are not satisfied with what God has given us. The Bible tells us to be content with what we have, for God will never fail or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). In order to combat jealousy, we need to become more like Jesus and less like ourselves. We can get to know Him through Bible study, prayer, and fellowship with mature believers. As we learn how to serve others instead of ourselves, our hearts will begin to change. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

egoLove … is not self-seeking.—1 Corinthians 13:4-5

A pastor described a young couple that had recently been attending his church. As new attendees, they were delighted. They found the church warm and hospitable. They were welcomed with open arms. Long-time members gave them attention and were interested in their opinions. But many months later, after they became members of the church, this couple started to complain. They felt that people were no longer spending enough time with them. The church leaders, they decided, were only concerned with new visitors. No one focused on them anymore.

When a church leader heard about this, he visited with them and said, “When you first came here, you needed love and acceptance. Now you need to help the church give other people that love and acceptance.” The couple needed to make spiritual progress. They needed to learn that love is not self-seeking.

Each of us is tempted to set up our own ego as an idol for others to dance around. Unconsciously we put ourselves on stage and ask others to applaud. We praise so that we will get praise in return. We love to get love in return. We serve to be served in return. And we believe our deep needs excuse our behavior.

Love enables us to see beyond ourselves. It takes the attention off us and seeks the good of our neighbors.


Lord, rescue us. We are desperate, stuffed with our-selves. Unstuff us by your grace, and fill us with Jesus’ love. Amen.

kindnessLove is patient, love is kind.—1 Corinthians 13:4

A man went to the airport only to find his flight delayed, so he sat down near a restaurant. It was in the middle of the afternoon, and the restaurant was mostly empty. Only one person was there, a homeless and shabbily dressed man with his head resting on the tabletop. Suddenly a man who appeared to be the restaurant manager walked toward the table. The observer thought, “He’s going to throw him out.” But instead, as the manager walked past, he set a hot dog on the table. On the way back he set a cup of coffee next to the hot dog.

It was a simple kindness. But in effect the manager was saying, “In a few minutes I’m going to have to ask you to leave. But for a moment let us act like we are in heaven: ‘Welcome to God’s feast.’”

In a beautiful sermon on kindness Professor Tom Long suggests that biblical kindness is an act of civil disobedience. It’s a refusal to treat people according to the customs and traditions of the status quo. It insists on seeing people and treating them in light of who they will be in God’s future. It means treating people the way God in Jesus treats us: “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Whom can you treat with kindness today?


Father, show us how to do simple acts and say simple words that lighten people’s loads. In the name of Jesus, who carries all our burdens, Amen.