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Welcome to Part 2 of the “What Love Is…and What Love Is Not” blog series. In this blog, I will focus on what love is not according to the Scriptures. To assist in writing this portion of the series, I pulled some information from 1 Corinthians 13:5–6, as well as Romans 13:10. Below are the points I wish to focus on in this piece.
1. Love does not envy.
2. Love is not arrogant (not to be confused with being confident) or boastful.
3. Love is not selfish.
4. Love does not wrong other people.
Before I go into greater detail with the aforementioned points, I wish to state the following: Yes, I know we are human. Yes, I know that we all have made mistakes in the past and that we will make mistakes in the future; notice I said all (I’m including myself in this as well). However, as Christians, we should be focused on growing in the Lord, becoming better individuals, being better examples to the people of the world. People are watching us. They are taking note of everything we do and say. I know folks will find fault with us regardless (watch this video), but I feel it is important that we ask the Lord to help us identify our shortcomings and to continually mold us into the people He wishes for us to be (See James 1:19–27). We as Christians cannot be complacent.
If you are guilty of what is listed above, simply acknowledge it–it can be just between you and God. You don’t have to tell me. You are not required to make an announcement to all of your friends on social media. You don’t have to broadcast it to the world. However, you must confess it to God and ask Him to strengthen you in that area.
Okay. Now that I got that out of the way, let us continue.
Love does not Envy.
Many definitions of envy exist. However, for the purposes of this blog, I choose to define envy as a feeling of resentment coupled with a desire to possess what another individual has (e.g., house, car, job, husband/wife, clothes, a person’s talents, a person’s ministry, a person’s looks, and so on). I am aware this definition of envy may not be the best one, but when consulting various sources, the above is the best definition I could construct, at least for now. It also should be noted that envy is a “work of the flesh” (See Galatians 5:21) versus a fruit of the Spirit. We should not be fixated on what other people have. We should not continually compete and/or compare ourselves with other individuals. Instead, we should be grateful for what the Lord has given us and genuinely be thankful for how He is blessing others.
Love is not Arrogant (not to be confused with confident) or Boastful.
This one is pretty simple. Pride (arrogance) gets us nowhere, and the Scriptures tell us so. However, we must not confuse pride with confidence, or better stated, confidence in the Lord. A good example of confidence in the Lord is when David had the “showdown” with Goliath; David spoke confidently. However, when one really reads and dissects the Scriptures, David is speaking (or boasting) about what the Lord will do…through him (See 1 Samuel 17:45–47). You see, in these Scriptures, David is acknowledging that the victory that will be obtained is through God, not David (who was simply the Lord’s vessel).
Love is not Selfish.
This does not mean we should allow everyone to take advantage of us. However, we should think of others and their needs. (See Philippians 2:3–4.) Many people require our help, and an abundance of opportunities to assist mankind exists.
Love does not Wrong Other People.
Allow me to state the following. I have been doing this “Positivity Inspires” thing since 2013, and I have spoken with many people who have been deeply hurt by what others have done. What's more is that over the years, I have received anonymous messages from individuals who informed me that they have had suicidal thoughts because they have been victims of bullying, harassment...various forms of abuse (e.g., sexual, physical, emotional). Allow me to boldly state the following: These are not acts of love, and no one has the right to mistreat/abuse anyone. At times we wonder why some people are the way they are or why they behave a certain way, not considering what they may have experienced in the past or what they currently may be experiencing. Some of us may make assumptions about those individuals. Some of us may say some not-so-nice things about those individuals because they may seem awkward, or don’t seem to fit in, or don’t seem to be very social. We don’t always know what that man/woman/child has been through.
Allow me to also note the following. Being careful not to mistreat anyone does not mean we cannot speak up whenever someone wrongs us. This also does not mean we cannot correct others (in love). However, before we do or say something, we must think of the potential effects it can have on that individual or individuals.
So in this blog, I wrote about what love is not, although I could not cover it all. In this piece, I stated that love does not envy. Love is not arrogant or selfish, and love does not mistreat others. Now, if you have not already done so, I encourage you to read the first blog of this series (the introduction); you may do so by selecting “previous” at the bottom of this page. The next piece I write will focus on what love is, which will be followed by a blog that specifically speaks of love and relationships. I know many of you are waiting on the "Love and Relationships" piece, but we must cover some material beforehand.
The next blog is scheduled to be posted Sunday, November 19, 2017.
Scriptures to read and reflect on:
1 Corinthians 13:5–6
Positivity Inspires, Copyright 2017 (All rights reserved.)
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Positivity Inspires is an author, speaker, servant of the Lord, and founder of Positivity Inspires, LLC. She is the author of Words of Spiritual Encouragement and Inspiration: Volume 1, available now on Amazon. Visit her website at www.positivityinspires.com.