Love Doesn’t Brag

We continue our study in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Here we will take on two more negative verbs about love. It’s important to note that the Greek uses the absolute negative (NOT) for each of these negative verbs we are discussing and the fact that they are all in the present tense means that this is never, never to be a trait of agape love.

Paul says love does not brag and is not arrogant.

If you love others, you don’t boast about your accomplishments to make yourself look good. Love tries to make others look better than you.

Brag περπερεύομαι perpereúomai (per-per-yoo’-om-ahee) (perpereuomai from a word not in the NT = perperos = vainglorious, braggart) means to talk with conceit or to behave as a braggart or windbag, exhibiting self-display. Look at me attitude.

Regarding the church, your Spiritual gift is not an instrument to use to shine in the lights, to say look at me, look at what I’m doing in the church. No! Paul says love does not brag.

What about our personal life?

Love doesn’t try to prove itself and say watch how loving and important I can be. No! Instead, love works behind the scenes unnoticed, love does not parade its accomplishments!

Proverbs 27:2 says…

Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
A stranger, and not your own lips.

Such a person parades his embellished rhetoric to gain recognition. His behavior is marked by egotism, subservience toward superiors, and condescension toward subordinates. A braggart exhibits pride in himself and his accomplishments. But such bragging is devoid of love to God and to one’s fellow man, and is a blatant sin. Further, bragging and arrogance go hand in hand.

(Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. NT Commentary Set. Baker Book)

Love tells others that you are more important than I am. How do you do that? Ask about them and their success, about their accomplishments. We need to listen more than hearing others.

When we listen we take it in, when we hear, so often they can be just words that go out as quickly as they come in.

It’s not about you!

When you love other people you don’t consider yourself, your thoughts, your ministries, your agendas, and your accomplishments more important than others.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

Philippians 2:3-4 [Emphasis Mine]

Paul goes on to say and is not arrogant.

Arrogant φυσιόω physióō (foo-see-o’-o) (phusioo from phusáo = breathe, blow, inflate from phusa = bellows) means literally to puff up and is used figuratively to describe one who becomes inflated, proud, haughty or puffed up with pride. It means to cause one to have an exaggerated self-conception. (Thayer’s)

This arrogant attitude was a great sin problem in the church at Corinth, Paul repeatedly brings it up in 1 Corinthians 4:6, 4:18, 5:2, 8:1 (hover the mouse over text)

Instead, love seeks to give and to recognize others and to honor them, when honor is due. It means to applaud the other person’s accomplishment. Love seeks to listen more and hear less.

True agape love will give us praise for our brothers and sisters in Christ, and lift them up more than ourselves. True agape love says my spouse is more important than me, my family is more important than me and my friends are more important than me.

Listen, I get it!

The bar was set high…

1 John 3:16…
We know love by this,
that He laid down His life for us;
and we ought to lay down our
lives for the brethren.

That bar is there for a reason!


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