Monday, August 03, 2009

Real Love does not Boast!

What is love not? It is not rash nor is it boastful!

When God tells us that love does not boast, He means we are not to go around bragging about our accomplishments and abilities. When this love is working, we will have no desire to impress others. Thinking that we are important is foolish and distracting to our call and purpose in life. We are not to go around showing off our possessions. In so doing, we are patronizing to those who do not have such things. We are not to be so full of our accomplishments that we fail to see what others have accomplished. Because God loves us so much, we should have no need to impress another. We are not to condescend to our spouse, or anyone, for that matter, with pride, criticism, or contempt, nor are we to withdraw from them when we think they do not meet our approval. We must allow God to impress us with His greatness, because He is God and we are not. We can so relax and enjoy who we are in Christ, and that we are approved by Him, that we do not have to be in control or be the life of the party to feel secure. Nor, do we need the say-so of others since we have the approval of God, the Creator of the universe. Love is the security we have in Christ that needs nothing else for fulfillment.

Real love is found in our sentiments and thinking but it also greatly affects our behaviors. Our behavior as a Christian must not be wicked. Love is meant to be helpful so it does not become derogatory or resort to being patronizing towards others in order to make us feel better. If we have real love in our hearts and minds, then we will realize that our lives will be far better in His arms of love and care than with our whims and limited ideas (2 Cor. 5:16-17)! Love has wisdom and applies humbleness and gentleness, and is under control. If we are being boastful, we undertake an active attitude of deliberate self-acceptance over humility and we will ignore wisdom and become foolish and arrogant.

This means we are not to show off or act with deceptive means, or to be irritating. This word in the Greek is used to describe elections won by deceit and manipulations. It is like an elected official winning an election dishonestly and then bragging about it. True love in action is not selfish nor is it about one's ambition; rather, it is sacrificial and points to the one we love. Being boastful is claiming that our own will and power are supreme over the person we are supposed to love. Being conceited means one's self is the purpose, and that can only mean self-love and not true love. This rotten form of love places our trust in our accomplishments and plans, not in God's or the other person's best interests. By this, we ignore the fact that God is running the world! God tells us this is evil. As Christians, the only thing we can boast of is what Christ has done for us (Prov. 13:10; 16:18; Psalm 31:15; Daniel 4:30; 5:23; Matt. 7:5; Acts 17:28; 1 Cor. 12:25-25; 2 Cor. 11:20; 12:5-9; Col.1:17; Eph. 3:18-19; 1 John 1:6-7)!

Real love will flow from us when we allow God to be the One to impress us with His greatness. When we realize that He is God and we are not, then we will have love coming in and flowing out. We can loosen up and not take ourselves so seriously because we will enjoy who we are in Christ. There is no need or call for pride; because we are approved by Christ, we do not have to be in control or be the life of the party to feel secure. Nor, do we need the approval of others since we have the approval of God, the Creator of the universe. By the same token, we do not need to manipulate others because God does not manipulate us. Real love is the security we have in Christ that needs nothing else for fulfillment (Prov. 13:10; 16:18; Matt. 7:5; 1 Cor. 12:25-25; Eph. 3:18-19; 1 John 1:6-7).

Questions to Ponder

1. How would you describe boasting? What is love “not” in your life? Why does real love not have a need to impress?

2. What can your church do to encourage you to love and care for those around you?

3. Love can give us so much. As we give, we show our security in Christ that needs nothing else for fulfillment. So why be conceited? Why would someone think this could be helpful?

4. Do we get what the Christian life is about? If so, what are we doing about it?

5. What can you do to make sure that you do not usurp your own will and power over the person you are supposed to love? How would this help improve your relationships?

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At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The words that I read "a heart after Christ is truly humbling. I am a church and I never seems to notice that pride is gripping me because I do mostly the behind the pulpit things. I realize that I'm not doing what God wants me to do by being arrogant because of my accomplishment. I thank God for your life. God bless you and your family



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