Just reading this section of 1 Corinthians 13:4 is hard for me. Love does NOT envy, it does NOT boast, it is NOT proud.
Let me just say this, I DO envy, I DO boast, and I AM proud.
Again I say, ouch.
I have recently, just hours ago, found myself envying people and where they are in life. I wish so much that I could be in the situations they are in. Wishing to be further in life is not always a bad thing, but it becomes one when we become so focused on the future that we don’t use the time we have right now for God.
The times I have found myself being boastful are the moments that I accomplish something completely by myself. When I do something alone, I get all excited and proceed to tell my family about what it is that I just did on my own. It could be something as simple as a craft project that I was working on, but oh, do I get boastful about it.
The sad truth of being boastful sort of leads in to the reality of being proud. Since I enjoy doing things on my own, probably a bit too much, asking for help can be such punch in the gut for me. I really do despise showing any sense of dependence. And that is a sad, sad place to be.
Being envious of people’s relationships, stuff, or situations just shows us that we are discontent with our own relationships, stuff, and situation. And do you know why we are discontent with our own life? Because we spend SO much time envying others that we don’t focus on what we have. Are you jealous of a friendship someone else has? Instead of spending so much energy being envious, why don’t you invest in a relationship you have right now?
Being boastful shows us that we are bit too selfish. We want the focus to be on us and our accomplishments, whatever they may be. I am not saying that you shouldn’t share your accomplishments with the people who love you, I am just saying that we need to be sure we are listening to others more than we are speaking about ourselves.
Being proud shows that we are still in some delusional place where we think we can survive without God and others. It is easy for me to give God my eternity; I know I can’t handle that one. It is much harder for me to ask for help on a little problem, like homework, or anything I don’t understand. If it shows my lack of knowledge, I don’t want to ask. But God put people in our lives to help us. He doesn’t want us to go through life alone. We need to be dependent at times. I need to be dependent at times. People need people. Without others, we wither.
I don’t know about you, but personally these are all areas that I can most certainly improve on. I love being convicted by the same words I have read hundreds of times, it just shows that the Word truly is living and active. No more spending my time pining over what others have, no more talking my accomplishments up, and no more pride problems. With God’s help, I know I can become more like Jesus. And so can you.