“It (love) does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” (1 Cor. 13:4b NIV)
What a difference this type of love describes from the love in this world. People are proud. We don’t want to admit when we are wrong. We want people to acknowledge our work. We tend to applaud ourselves for what we do. But Is this love? Are we not — missing the boat?
Think about it: When our motivation is the congratulations we receive, we are often…appauding ourselves! According to 1 Cor. 13, however, this is not love.
I remember once, when I was about 12 years old, a clock in our house broke. Back in those days, clocks were mechanical and not electronic, and I decided I would repair the clock. I could just hear how proud my parents would be of me when I presented them with a working clock!
I worked really hard on that clock, and its repairs cost me a lot of time. It would all be worthwhile, however, because I would be able to show my parents that I had repaired it.
Two weeks later, the clock was, actually, working! Unfortunately, it was running really fast. In fact, the minute hand acted almost like a second hand! That clock, after my careful repairs, would never again be a reliable time piece.
I was ashamed to admit to my parents that I wasn’t able to fix the clock. They, however, told me what a great job I had done. They told me how proud they were that I had stuck with it so long, and they admired the initiative I had shown in wanting to fix it in the first place. They they reminded me that even though the clock wasn’t keeping time, I had at least succeeded in making it run!
We all had a good laugh about that one, and our love for one another was almost tangible. I kept that clock for a long time as a reminder of how much my parents loved me. Eventually, after about a year, I did throw it out; nonetheless I still remember the incident. Not because of the fact that I hadn’t be able to fix the clock, but because of the love my parents showed me at that moment in my life when I needed their approval so badly.
True love, the love that comes from God, is never proud. It doesn’t boast and it doesn’t envy. Love is way better than anything else.
(To access the entire “God’s Love in YOU” devotional series, please click here.)