In my personal time of worship before church this morning I read 1 Corinthians 13:4, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant.”

What particularly stuck out to me was “love does not envy or boast.”  They are two opposite things. Normally people don’t envy and boast at the same time. It can happen. But it is not likely. People envy when they recognize with self-pity that someone is “better” than they are. People boast when they selfishly recognize that they are “better” than someone else.

I am no different. And this morning, God rebuked my sin and called me to realize, and repent of, these deep, dark transgressions. But it didn’t stop there. He called — and is calling — me to dig down to the root of why I am this way.

I often envy people for their gifts, abilities, or opportunities. I want to be “the man.” I want the glory. It’s embarrassing, yes, but it’s the truth. I often boast in my own accomplishments and skills so that people praise me.  Perhaps it’s not always verbally to others, but it frequently happens in my heart. It’s shameful, yes, but it’s the truth.

Both of these sins are rooted in craving the praise of man. I envy and boast because I want to be made much of. The only way to kill these sins is to look to gospel — where God’s love is manifested and provided in the person and work of Jesus without envy or boasting. Gospel love is unselfish and humble. It is sacrificial and servant-oriented. I will never love God and others as I ought if I let the praise of man rule my heart. God’s love — that love which gave up his only Son on the cross to remove his wrath and forgive my sin — must rule my heart.

O Lord, make me see how you love me, and cause that transform me so that I am empowered to love others that way.

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2 thoughts on “A Hard Lesson on Sunday Morning at 6 am

  1. I often struggle with the same thing, in many ways towards you and Brian. I want to be strong and deep with the Lord, yet I’m not “that pastor guy”. Often I find my teaching and spending quality time for the Lord in competition. Then I begin to compare myself to you two, thinking, “wow, those guys spend so much time in the Word, are so spiritually intellectual, I feel really inferior to those guys. I must be a pretty crappy Christian because I’m not memorizing anything right now and even struggle to get a chapter a day in.” I know that feeling to crave boasting. Praise Jesus I have the grace to be weak for Him to be strong in me.

  2. This passage has been slamming me. I never thought 1 Cor 13 would show more of my sin and my rebellion to God. But it has. Its making me reevaluate the person I have become…because alot my love has been created out of impatience and envy…I am taking grace on this and letting words speak nothing but repentance. I need Jesus man. Bad. There is no other way we can do this

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