Today we continue on with our study of what many call "The Love Chapter;" 1 Corinthians 13. We're focusing on vs. 4-7 where Paul describes the nature of AGAPE.
We're up to attribute #5: "AGAPE is not proud." (1 Cor. 13:4)
There is such a thing as “healthy pride” –
I’m proud of my kids.
I take pride I a job well done, etc.
But Paul isn’t talking about healthy pride. He’s talking about fleshly pride.
The word Paul uses here is physio (Greek), which means: arrogant or puffed up. We’ve all seen this attribute in action. Our culture has many ways to describe this kind of pride. We use words like conceited, egocentric, wise-guy, uppity, overbearing, on an ego trip, immodest and big-headed. We say things like, “Wow, that guy’s pretty full of himself, or stuck on himself…” All of this is what Paul says AGAPE is NOT.
Paul employs a NEGATIVE statement here. He says, “AGAPE is NOT…proud.” If we flipped this over and make it a POSITIVE—“AGAPE is…” statement—it might go something like this. "AGAPE is humble, modest and unconceited.
When you know who you are you don’t need to blow your own horn. Jesus, as always, is our great example. He was God in the flesh and he knew it. And because he knew it, he didn’t feel the need to run around trying to impress people. He simply lived his life, focused on his mission. He lived his life for an audience of One---His Heavenly Father.
I think that might be the key to understanding this attribute of AGAPE. AGAPE lives for God, not self. This kind of focus eradicates arrogance and produces a mission-focused attitude; an attitude that says, “It’s not about me—it’s all about God and His Kingdom.”
As children of God through faith in Christ, we can—and indeed we are commanded to—have the same mindset and attitude as our Savior. “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature F5 God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant…” (Phil. 2:5-7)
AGAPE has no use for self-promotion. It’s focus is God-promotion. AGAPE understands that self-centeredness is always a road block to Christ-like living and so AGAPE chooses to lay self on the altar daily and to embrace an attitude that seeks first God’s Kingdom (Mat. 6:33) and encourages others to do the same.
It is in this sense that AGAPE is not proud.
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