Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.
John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.
It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.
Love like Jesus.
Love is the goal of all of Christian life. Love that is displayed in the life of Jesus. The life and death of Jesus. This love is described in 1 Corinthians 13. Let’s consider
Love is not arrogant
It has been years since a brother once instructed me to replace the term “love” with “Jesus” to get a better understanding of who He is.
Jesus is not arrogant
The fifth term that describes what love is not is arrogance
This term is often translated in the KJV as “puffed up” and I always chuckled when I read those passages. It seemed so descriptive.
Paul was careful when he chose this term to describe what love is not, since there is another term translated as boast in the New Testament.
That word is kauchēsis, Strong’s # G2746. This word is used to describe the boasting in the Lord that Paul (and all believers) exhibit in their lives. It is the act of glorying in the Lord. It is a positive characteristic of the believer, and it is used of our estimation of the Lord and of His people.
Pauls boasts of the church in Corinth.
2 Corinthians 7:4
I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.
Paul boasts of his fellow workers
2 Corinthians 8:24
So give proof before the churches of your love and of our boasting about you to these men.
The word we are looking at in our current study is physioō, and this word closely imitates our common thought of pride, arrogance, haughtiness, selfish elevation over others. The root word describes the bellows used to blow a fire. (A bit of an association with hot air!)
Love does not boast, does not inflate itself, does not tell everyone to “look at me”, listen to me, I’m more important than that fellow over there. As a matter of fact, I’m more important than you. Me me me me…..
It is interesting that the majority of the time this word is used is in 1 Corinthians. The only other time this word is used in the New Testament is in Colossians 2:18, where Paul describes enemies of the gospel, being puffed up without reason about visions they have had!
Again, it is important to remember the nature of the Corinthian church. This group of believers were immature, fleshy, and in division! Boasting is a tool used to create division, of pitting self over a brother.
As many who read these posts have come to realize, I have a struggle with how to handle knowledge. My relationship with knowledge brought about great boasting in my life early on, to the point of defining my knowledge as the pure doctrine of the gospel, mocking discussion and discourse with other believers. I somehow convinced myself (I wasn’t convincing any one else!) that I had the pure teaching. How proud and haughty.
In the following passage, Paul addresses the Corinthian’s relationship with idols in the City. It is my go to verse when I consider how to handle knowledge. We all possess (some) knowledge. Remember that love builds up the fellow believer.
1 Corinthians 8:1
Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up.
One of my Old Testament memory verses speaks on this topic. Hannah was praising the Lord for the answered prayer of God in giving her a son, Samuel. She had weaned her son, and brought him back to the temple, giving her son to the Lord.
As you many remember, Hannah’s husband had a second wife, Penninah, who bore children and mocked Hannah for her barrenness. 1 Samuel speaks of Penninah provoking Hannah, seeking to irritate Hannah.
Hannah’s prayer speaks of the Rock, our God and then slips into a portion concerning Penninah.
1 Samuel 2:3
Talk no more so very proudly,
let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the LORD is a God of knowledge,
and by him actions are weighed.
Boasting of oneself, in the believers life, as he seeks to love like Jesus, is excluded.
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
Walk humbly with thy God. This characteristic of a believer is such a rare commodity in the days we live in.
Jesus replacing Love
So is my brother’s suggestion of replacing the term love with Jesus accurate and helpful?
Jesus is not arrogant
This term is so closely linked to our previous discussion on boasting that I will refer the reader to our previous post – Love Like Jesus – Without Boasting.
In summary, Jesus, the Son of God cannot be arrogant since His own word’s define His attitude of life, that is of gentleness and humility.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
Please join me in our next study where we will consider a sister characteristic of being “puffed up”. Hope you can join me as we continue our study.
I look forward to comments and discussion. May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.