1Co 13:1-8 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; (6) Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth....
This week we will continue our look into 1Cor 13 to get a Biblical idea of what true love is. Last week we focused on longsuffering, and we will continue in order as 1Cor 13 is written. The next characteristic of God’s kind of love is kindness. The definition of kindness is: showing oneself useful; acting benevolently. Having a disposition to do good; possessing love to mankind, and a desire to promote their prosperity and happiness.
Often times happiness eludes the Christian, because he seeks to promote his own prosperity and happiness. The last way to be happy is to be self seeking. When one walks in Biblical kindness, they receive happiness by promoting the prosperity and happiness of another. In other words, focus on blessing others, and you will be blessed. We are to be kind to one another (Eph 4:32). Our kindness is a desirable trait (Prv 19:22). God is kind, and to be kind is to be godly.
God’s love does not envy. It does not have feelings against because of covetousness or jealousy. We are not to walk in envy, strife, and vain glory (Gal 5:26, Rom 13:13). Envy is carnal, not spiritual (1Cor 3:3). Envy is a trait of the unregenerate man, not the born again man (Titus 3:3, Gal 5:21). Envy is earthly, sensual, and devilish. It causes confusion and every evil work (Jam 3:14-18).
The worst thing about envy, jealousy, and covetousness; is that the underlying root is a dissatisfaction with Jesus Christ. In Heb. 13:5, it says to not be covetous, but rather be content; because Jesus will never leave us or forsake us. That means that when the Christian is discontent and envious, he is saying that Jesus is not enough. That Jesus hasn’t done enough for him. That he is not satisfied with Jesus. If we would focus on what Jesus has done in us, through us, and for us; we would be content - and envy would not be a part of our life.
Be happy for other people. Rejoice with those that rejoice. If someone gets blessed, don’t envy them. Be thankful they are blessed. Don’t want what other people have. Be happy with what you have. “But they have a lot more than me.” Well, you have a lot more than a lot of other people. If you want or need something, pray to God cheerfully, and be willing to work for it. The “green eyed monster” or the “evil eye” have no place in the life of the Christian.
God’s kind of love does not vaunteth itself (is not boastful or braggardly), and is not puffed up (proud or haughty). Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Our boast should be in God (Psa 34:2, 44:8). Living your life with no concern for God’s will is considered boastful in the Bible (Jam 4:16). It is also wrong to boast in knowing God’s Word, when there is little attempt at keeping it (Rom 2:17, 23). The unstable person who only hears and knows God’s Word, but does not do God’s Word, is headed for destruction (Mt 7:21-27, Jam 1:22-25).
The person who practices God’s kind of love, while he will not be perfect, seeks to live out and demonstrate that love in his life. Our boast should always be in Jesus. We are the branches, and He is the Vine. We produce good fruit only when we are plugged into Him. Therefore, we rejoice in Him. We boast in Him. There is no room to be prideful or arrogant, for what do we have that we have not received? Our identity should be in Christ.
This is not a “shoutin’ hallelujah!” topic, I know. But it is very practical and necessary. It is fundamental. It is basic. It is the Christian’s labor - or work- of love. If these things were purposefully put into practice in our lives - our homes, our churches, and our community would be radically affected. I pray you will take these things to heart, and look for opportunity to practice these things in your life. Until next time, rejoice in The Lord (Philp 4:4).