1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
There are three major kinds of love identified by three Greek words; eros, phileo, and agape.
We are most familiar with eros love, or romantic love.
As its name indicates, eros is passionate or sexual love (eros is the source of the English word erotic). The second major kind of love is phileo the Greek word for friendship love.
Phileo refers to brotherly love and is most often exhibited in a close friendship. Best friends will display this generous and affectionate love for each other as each seeks to make the other happy.
Agape is the most powerful, noblest type of love. Agape is sacrificial love. Agape love is more than a feeling—it is an act of the will. This is the kind of love that can be commanded and controlled or directed by the mind and will of the person who chooses to love.
This is the love that God has for His people and that prompted the sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus, for our sins.
Agape Does Not Boast
The Greek word translated as “boast” means “to brag or point to oneself.” In contrast to the kindness and patience that I wrote about in the first two posts in this series, boasting is not a mark of love.
The reason that love does not boast is simple: love is focused on the loved one, not on yourself. A braggart is full of himself, magnifying his own accomplishments and is too occupied with self-exaggeration to notice anybody else. Love, on the other hand, turns the attention outward to someone else.. A person with agape will magnify others, focus on their needs, and offer help with no thought of repayment or recognition. When someone says, “Look at how great I am!” it’s braggadocio talking, not love.
Boasting is rooted in pride, exalting ourselves, flaunting our gifts, our abilities, our knowledge, our accomplishments, the desire to appear to be important, to have others think that we’re spiritual or successful or capable or prosperous. Boasting is what the Apostle John called “the pride of life”.
1 John 2:16 NIV For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.
It amounts to the arrogant, proud dependence on your own achievements, intelligence, resources, or wealth.
Sometimes the boasting takes place in obvious ways, in what we say. Sometimes it’s even in what we don’t say that a boastful or bragging heart can be revealed. What about when we accept credit for things that we don’t deserve credit for or when we leave a better impression of ourselves with others than is honestly true?
Our boasting should not be in ourselves, our stuff or our accomplishments. Our boasting should be in the Lord
1 Corinthians 1:26-31 NIV Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 10:12-18 NIV We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you. We are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as you with the gospel of Christ. Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand, so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in someone else’s territory. But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.
Those called to reflect Christ should strive for the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus
Philippians 2:5 NIV In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
With the same attitude as Jesus we can show a love that draws people to the Lord and gives glory to the heavenly Father.
Matthew 5:16 NIV In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.