Love is…- Part 3
What Love Is(n’t)
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast;”1 Corinthians 13:4
Every coin has two sides. Last week we began to look at what love is; “Love is patient and kind”. Now we begin to reflect on what love isn’t, or rather what love doesn’t; “love does not envy or boast;”
Love is not given to saying “I want what you have” or “I have what you want.”
In our Breaking of Bread Zoom calls we’ve been looking at the beatitudes together. You will have noticed by now that they present a very challenging counter-cultural lifestyle. Following Jesus is not always easy. To live this blessed life is to swim against the tide of the world around us, and sometimes of the desires within us. And yet, I hope we have also seen that this is good news! This is not misery, it is joy! It is not slavery, it is freedom! Christ Jesus has liberated his people to live lives of love! He equips us with all we need to know the blessedness of God. We can be free in Christ from the misery of self-obsession.
If we believed that life was all about how much money and how many material things we could amass before we die, envy and boasting would be inevitable. We would envy those who have more, and look down on those who have less. The same is true of those who see the goal of life as to gather up exciting experiences or tick off to-dos from the bucket-list of life.
We believe that life is about knowing God, and being known by him (Galatians 4:9). What place is there here for petty pride, for envy or jealousy? He loves all of his people with a perfect love, he knows each of us with a perfect knowledge, in Him we are secure and have no need to compete with each other for position (Jesus rebuked his disciples for this very thing). Our true treasure is kept safe in heaven. And we have this eternal treasure, not because of any goodness within ourselves, but by his grace-“not by works so that no one can boast.”
May we know the joy of Jesus as we live in the freedom he paid such a price to purchase for us. Rather than envying others, may we encourage them. Rather than boasting, may we build up and bless, may petty pride give way to generous love.
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves.”Romans 12:10