Love is patient; love is kind. Love does not envy; is not boastful; is not conceited;1 Corinthians 13:4(HCSB)
As we read through the first epistle to the Corinthians, we discover them to be a group of immature believers who were argumentative, carnal-minded, discontented, immoral, inconsiderate, unloving, self-inflated, selfish, and critical of others. And although they were set apart unto God, positioned in Christ, and eternally secure, they were not maturing in their spiritual walk, but acting like spoilt infants.
The abundance of spiritual gifts of which they could readily boast, were sharply contrasted with a significant dearth of spiritual fruit, all of which are founded on LOVE. And so Paul begins to list the enriching and edifying qualities that are found in godly love which were so lacking in the lives of these unspiritual believers.
Long-suffering and patient endurance in the midst of provocation, and a kindness that looks first to the needs of others, are the first two evidences of love that Paul pens to this unspiritual crowd - for love is patient, and love is kind. He then points out that godly love is the exact opposite of the unspiritual behaviour that had been exhibited by these Corinthians Christians, for love does not envy, love is not boastful or conceited, nor it is jealous, arrogant, argumentative, carnal-minded, discontented, immoral, inconsiderate, unloving, self-inflated, selfish, or critical of others.
This thirteenth chapter is considered by many to be the supreme treaties on love, and indeed as we read through this passage that is beloved by many, we discover that only the name 'JESUS' could easily be substituted throughout for the word 'LOVE'. And justifiably so, for Jesus is patient, and Jesus is kind.
Jesus does not envy, and Jesus is not boastful nor conceited. Jesus is not rude nor does He insist on His own way. Jesus is neither irritable nor resentful, and Jesus does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but He rejoices with the truth - for He is the Truth. And only in and through Jesus are we able to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endures all things.
When we consider this passage, let us look deeper in the significance of its true meaning, and earnestly pray that Christ may be formed in us so that we are enabled to love as He loves.
Heavenly Father, develop in me the godly fruit of love. May I live in love and seek to love as Christ loved. Keep me from jealousy and boastfulness, and may the love of Jesus be seen in and through me, by the power of Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.