1 Cor. 13 God is love … Love does not brag …

Boasting has always been considered bad form in polite company; Its why people say, “Not to brag but, …” Before they brag.

The Apostle writing our letter to the Corinthian Christians places t in his list as a prohibition. “Love is patient, love is kind, love is never jealous, love is never boastful …”

I can’t imagine God bragging. I can’t imagine Jesus bragging. If God is the ideal measure of love, if I am to emulate Jesus, maybe it should not be okay in my life? The New Testament’s arguments against boastfulness are plentiful. And Paul lays out some of his reasoning on the matter when he argues in 1 Corinthians 4:7 “… What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”

There is an anchor idea for us in James writing as well, “Every good thing given, and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father…” James 1:17

Is there anything that we are blessed with be it be it physical, mental or tactile that God has not given? Thankfulness is our response to a gift not pride or bragging.

Jeremiah the prophet of the Old Testament wrote, “… Let no wise man boast of his wisdom, and let no strong man boast of his strength, and let no rich man boast of his riches.” Ch 9:23

The things we have to brag about are gifts from God and so should be considered as such. Reversing this is a denial of God’s blessings. It can lead to a lack of thankfulness, discontent because of comparison and the dissolution of my relationship with God all together.

Bragging offends others as well. It innately expresses the inferiority of another and the assertion, right or wrong, of the speaker’s superiority.

Love, “does not brag” because it is not focused on itself. The Bible is stating as it often does, a truth that we are aware of by the imprint of God on our nature. When you try to express love you don’t do it by boasting about yourself.

“Love is kind and patient, never jealous, or boastful …”  Because these are ways that we are designed to live in the image of God. We know it, we feel it. Let’s try to do it!

 

Walt

Love is the gold standard of human behavior. Love is an imitation of the nature of God.

Boast: To talk or write about oneself in a proud or self-impressed way. –  a pompous statement; arrogant talk or manner.

Postscript: There is a notable exception to the rules about boasting, however. It is encouraged as an expression of love toward God. Paul our Corinthian letter writer gives an example in his letter to the Galatian church, “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, …” Chapter 6 verse 14