I have worked with a few people who couldn’t get enough of themselves, as I am sure you may have. Every accomplishment, large or insignificant, is proudly spoken, as they regale the masses with their feats, accomplishments or abilities.
They were truly legends, in their own minds.
Even in the Church, we hear it. How many people were “saved” after hearing my message, all the healing when I laid hands on them, how I served, what I did, how much better my church is than yours, my doctrine is superior, look at all I have…blah, blah, blah.
After reading two things that love is, we now see a few of what love is not.
When we are full of ourselves and our accomplishments and let the world know about it, this is boasting. Boasting speaks of me and how wonderful I am, bringing myself glory, exulting in all my accomplishments and all that I am. More than just bragging, it is all about self. It has a very close cousin..pride…which is talked about below. However, boasting is all out of the mouth.
I am the greatest, look at all I have done, you wish you could be me, no one is better than I, God obviously blesses me special…and on and on until they either shut up or the listener leaves to throw up.
Next, we see that love is not proud. Pride. This isn’t pride in your appearance or your country…this is haughtiness and arrogance. Some Bible versions say, puffed up. What I picture is a barnyard rooster, with his breast feathers all puffed out, strutting around the yard. This is the pride that says, “Yeah, I am all that and everything else should bow before me.”
Pride can be shown without words. A former co-worker of mine told me of a church he visited where during a social time, the pastor sat on a seat, high enough to see over the crowd, with a bunch of men standing around him…no one could get near him. He just sat, smugly watching.
I don’t know who that pastor is, but his imitation of Jesus needs tweaking. Actually, it needs an appearance.
Love contradicts the ideas of boasting and pride. These two are ego feeders and have no place in the service of others.
Ever hear someone go on about how they were humbled? Not like someone who actually was, but someone who got their hands a little dirty or actually spoke to a sinner, once. If that was being humbled, I think all you did was give your pride a little time off.
I have heard others who simply self-denigrate, put themselves down and deny any well-doing on their own part. You may have heard it…“Oh, I am just a humble servant of the Lord. What I do is nothing. I am pleased to serve with these feeble hands, two left feet and this hideously ugly face. I am but a worm in the Kingdom. All the glory is His.”
Slap that jerk into reality.
Whoa! Not really! That would not be loving, at all.
Humility is not about putting oneself down as much as putting oneself aside. While we can fully acknowledge our talents, abilities, hard work and our worth in God’s eyes, we can also let someone get credit even if we don’t. We can also appreciate when someone gives us credit or praise, but do so without stockpiling it on our “greatest hits” resume’. Whatever we do, whatever we accomplish, we don’t need to strut around with a banner that tells everyone how special or important we are.
Your thinking about slapping that person, aren’t you. I am too, honestly. *sigh*
We can go through the list of what love is and is not, but I think the point is clear…love sets me aside in order to bless or serve someone else. I will have a few more parts to this little series and will cover other portions of the well known Love Chapter. There are some other points of love I see which I would like to share.
If you are reading this little series, hang in there. Just a few more parts to go.